The Concept of Sickle Cell Anemia

Table of Contents

Economic Impacts: Health Insurance and Health care

  • Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disorder that affects around 3 percent of all newborn babies.
  • Patients with this condition are at risk of stroke, hypertension, organ damage, leg ulcers, and blindness.
  • Parents who have affected children are burdened economically and financially.
  • Sickle cell anemia is identified as a preexisting condition when purchasing health insurance (Olatunya et al., 2017).
  • The condition makes it impossible for many patients to earn adequate income, thereby being unable to afford health insurance.
  • There are no adequate policies to support the economic and health needs of persons with sickle cell anemia.
  • The complexity of this condition also makes it impossible for patients to receive high-quality care.

Sickle cell anemia is known to have numerous economic impacts. Those who have the condition are affected by different health problems, including hypertension, stroke, blindness, and stroke. Many patients find it hard to get proper medical insurance. Due to the lack of financial support, such individuals are unable to lead quality lives. The absence of evidence-based care delivery models to meet the health needs of different people can complicate the situation (Olatunya et al., 2017). Governments and medical professionals should consider these predicaments in order to support the needs of many patients.

Substance Abuse

  • The relationship between drug dependency and sickle cell anemia is something that has attracted the attention of many scholars.
  • Many patients experience painful crises that may be treated using different narcotics.
  • Past studies have indicated that substances such as cocaine are effective for this condition.
  • Self-medication is embraced by many patients to treat sickle cell anemia.
  • Without proper treatment and support, patients might become addicted to such drugs (Kotila, Busari, Makanjuola, & Eyelade, 2015).
  • However, those who engage in self-medication have increased chances of using other addictive substances.
  • This becomes a major health challenge that should be addressed using evidence-based measures.

Self-medication is a common practice embraced by those who have sickle cell anemia. Some of the drugs used to manage pain such as cocaine can be addictive. Without adequate guidance and support, many patients might develop dependency. This means that the affected users might become addicted to other substances. Healthcare professionals should, therefore, guide their patients to deal with addiction (Kotila et al., 2015). The main objective is to ensure that adequate care is available to all people with this condition.

Prenatal Care and Childbearing

  • Individuals who have sickle cell traits can give birth to babies with this condition.
  • Such people should be tested before conceiving.
  • Those with such traits should have their developing fetuses tested frequently before and after childbirth (Cardoso, de Aguiar, & Viana, 2014).
  • During pregnancy, blood transfusion is considered to replace infected blood.
  • During labor, intravenous (IV) fluids and oxygen are needed to reduce the chances of dehydration.
  • Continuous prenatal and postnatal care is critical since sickle cell complications can result in death, heart enlargement, miscarriage, and kidney infections.
  • Proper treatment is also essential since sick babies are at risk of severe anemia.

Since sickle cell anemia is a hereditary condition, individuals should get adequate advice and support before deciding to have a child. Spouses who have sickle cell traits should take this issue seriously. Medical checkups are necessary for pregnant women. Intravenous (IV) fluids, oxygen, and blood transfusions can be considered to minimize the complications associated with sickle cell anemia (Cardoso et al., 2014). These initiatives will improve the health outcomes of pregnant women and their affected babies.


Cardoso, P. S., de Aguiar, R. A., & Viana, M. B. (2014). Clinical complications in pregnant women with sickle cell disease: Prospective study of factors predicting maternal death or near miss. Brazilian Journal of Hematology and Hemotherapy, 36(4), 256-263. Web.

Kotila, T. R., Busari, O. E., Makanjuola, V., & Eyelade, O. R. (2015). Addiction or pseudoaddiction in sickle cell disease patients: Time to decide – A case series. Annals of Ibadan Postgraduate Medicine, 13(1), 44-47.

Olatunya, O. S., Ogundare, E. O., Fadare, J. O., Oluwayemi, I. O., Agaja, O. T., Adeyefa, B. S., & Aderiye, O., (2015). The financial burden of sickle cell disease on households in Ekiti, Southwest Nigeria. ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research, 7, 545-553. Web.

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