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Sickle Cell Anemia

Enlarged Spleen And Infections

Sickle cells can impede blood flow through the spleen and cause organ damage. In infants and young children, the spleen is usually enlarged. After repeated incidence of blood vessel blockage, the spleen usually atrophies by late childhood. Damage to the spleen can have a negative impact on the immune system, leaving individuals with sickle cell anemia more vulnerable to infections. Infants and young children are particularly prone to life-threatening infections.

Anemia can also impair the immune system, because stem cells—the precursors of all blood cells—are earmarked for red blood cell production rather than white blood cell production. White blood cells form the cornerstone of the immune system within the bloodstream.


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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Semiotics to SmeltingSickle Cell Anemia - Hemoglobin Structure, Sickle Cell Hemoglobin, Sickle Cell Anemia, Affected Populations, Causes And Symptoms - Delayed growth, Acute chest syndrome, Treatment, Alternative treatment