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The sickle cells usually only last 10 to 20 days, instead of the normal 90 to 120 days.Your body may have trouble making enough new cells to replace the ones that you lost.

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Most of the signs and symptoms of SCD are related to complications of the disease.

They may include severe pain, anemia, organ damage, and infections.

That test uses a sample of amniotic fluid (the liquid in the sac surrounding the baby) or tissue taken from the placenta (the organ that brings oxygen and nutrients to the baby).

The only cure for SCD is bone marrow or stem cell transplantation.

The sickle-shaped cells can also stick to vessel walls, causing a blockage that slows or stops the flow of blood.

When this happens, oxygen can't reach nearby tissues.

The lack of oxygen can cause attacks of sudden, severe pain, called pain crises. If you get one, you might need to go to the hospital for treatment.

The cause of SCD is a defective gene, called a sickle cell gene.

A blood test can show if you have SCD or sickle cell trait.

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