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What is Sickle Cell Trait?

Sickle cell is a genetically inherited blood disorder, which affects the haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is an oxygen carrying substance that gives blood its red colour. There are many types of haemoglobin's. The usual type is called haemogobin A (Hb A). Haemoglobin S is an unusual type. The red blood cell of a carrier contains haemoglobin A and S (Hb AS).

Red blood cells that contain haemoglobin S can sometimes under extreme circumstances e.g. general anaesthetic and severe dehydration cause the normal round cell to change shape to resemble a sickle cell shape.