How can I know if I have sickle cell trait?

Your healthcare provider can perform a special blood test to tell if you have sickle cell anemia or sickle cell trait. You may decide to have this test before you plan to have children.

In many states, the law requires newborn babies to be tested for sickle cell disease, regardless of their ethnic background. The testing is done right away so that children born with sickle cell disease can receive treatment to protect them against life-threatening infections. These children need to be followed very closely by a healthcare provider.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/31/2019.

References

  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Sickle Cell Disease. Accessed 6/4/2019.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What is Sickle Cell Disease? Accessed 6/4/2019.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What is Sickle Cell Trait? Accessed 6/4/2019.
  • Natrajan K, Kutlar A. Natrajan K, Kutlar A Natrajan, Kavita, and Abdullah Kutlar.Disorders of Hemoglobin Structure: Sickle Cell Anemia and Related Abnormalities. In: Kaushansky K, Lichtman MA, Prchal JT, Levi MM, Press OW, Burns LJ, Caligiuri M. Kaushansky K, Lichtman M.A., Prchal J.T., Levi M.M., Press O.W., Burns L.J., Caligiuri M Eds. Kenneth Kaushansky, et al.eds. Williams Hematology, 9e New York, NY: McGraw-Hill .

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