Sickle Cell Information for Teachers, Students, and Employers
Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited chronic illness which
results in anemia (low blood counts) episodes of pain and
increased susceptibility to infections.any complication, if
severe or untreated can be life threatening. Immediate treatment
at a hospital or sickle cell center is required under these
Classroom and workplace guides
- Sickle cell patients may be absent because
of severe pain episodes caused by the blockage of blood
flow to body organs or bones. These may require treatment
in a hospital setting.
- Make up work for students should be provided
to keep the student current with assignments. A hospital
or homebased teacher may be required for prolonged
- Pain episodes may be prevented by allowing
the individual to keep well hydrated with water. Do not
limit access to water as their requirements are
increased. This will necessitate frequent bathroom breaks
also as their kidneys can not retain water as well. Let
the individual keep a water bottle with them or allow
frequent water breaks.
- Pain episodes may also be prevented by not
allowing the individual to become over heated or exposed
to cold temperatures.
- Because of their anemia, individuals with
sickle cell may tire before others and a rest period may
be appropriate. Encourage gym and sports participation
but allow the person to stop without undue attention.
- Sickle cell disease does not affect one's
intelligence, but various factors of this lifelong
illness may impair academic performance. These should be
identified and addressed as they would for any child.
Academic performance is important as the life expectancy
for those with sickle cell is now up in the forth and
fifth decade. Those with sickle cell can become
professionals like doctors, engineers, and lawyers as
well as anyone.
- Sickle cell patients may have a yellow tint
to their eyes because of the anemia, this is not usually
a liver problem. They also may have a shorter stature and
- Those with sickle cell should be treated as
normal as possible with an awareness that they may have
intermittent episodes of pain, infection or fatigue that
can be treated and sometimes prevented though adequate
water intake, avoiding temperature extremes and over
- Learn about sickle cell and understand the
challenges that may be faced. Have a plan of action with
the individual to do what you can to keep them productive
and complication free.
- Medical Attention is needed when:
- The individual should seek medical attention
if the following occurs: fever, headache, chest pain,
abdominal pain, numbness or weakness. A mild pain episode
may be managed with increased fluid intake and a
non-narcotic pain pill like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
What You Can Do
- Invite a speaker from your local sickle cell
foundation or clinic to educate the entire class or staff
about sickle cell.
- Become involved in public awareness events,
like walks, fun runs, kids camp and fund raisers.
- Encourage blood donations and blood drives
in your community, many with sickle cell need
transfusions to prevent childhood strokes and other
- Support sickle cell research to provide new
- Support sickle cell patients to be the best
they can be.
Great Resources for Learning More
Human Genome Project Sickle Cell Education Site-
This is a great site for students, teachers and
patients who would like to know the origin of sickle cell
disease. There are great graphics and well organized
What is Sickle Cell
the Sickle Cell Tutorial in the Power Point section
the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Send mail to email@example.com with
questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 1997 Sickle Cell Information Center
Last modified: March 03, 1999