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Sickle Cell Test

What Affects the Test

Having a blood transfusion in the past 4 months can cause a false-negative test result because of the normal hemoglobin from the blood donor.

What To Think About

  • Most states routinely do a sickle cell blood test on all newborns.
  • If you have a family history of sickle cell disease, you may be advised to have a blood test to determine whether you carry the sickle cell trait. If you have sickle cell trait or sickle cell disease, you may choose genetic counseling before deciding to have children.
  • Testing is available to check for sickle cell disease in an unborn baby (fetus). This can be done through amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS).
  • Babies younger than 6 months of age may have false-negative results because they have more hemoglobin F (fetal hemoglobin) in their blood.
  • In the United States, sickle cell disease mainly affects African Americans and Latin Americans.

Other Places To Get Help

Organizations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)
1600 Clifton Road, MS E-87
Atlanta, GA  30333
Phone: 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)
TDD: 1-888-232-6348
Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Web Address: www.cdc.gov/ncbddd
 

NCBDDD aims to find the cause of and prevent birth defects and developmental disabilities. This agency works to help people of all ages with disabilities live to the fullest. The website has information on many topics, including genetics, autism, ADHD, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, diabetes and pregnancy, blood disorders, and hearing loss.


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD  20824-0105
Phone: (301) 592-8573
Fax: (240) 629-3246
TDD: (240) 629-3255
Email: nhlbiinfo@nhlbi.nih.gov
Web Address: www.nhlbi.nih.gov
 

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) information center offers information and publications about preventing and treating:


Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA)
231 East Baltimore Street
Suite 800
Baltimore, MD  21202
Phone: 1-800-421-8453
(410) 528-1555
Fax: (410) 528-1495
Email: scdaa@sicklecelldisease.org
Web Address: http://www.sicklecelldisease.org
 

The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America is a national membership organization that provides education, research updates, and support around sickle cell disease problems. Its Web site has the Sickle Cell Disease Forum for people of all ages to discuss concerns about sickle cell disease.


Citations

  1. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2007). Screening for Sickle Cell Disease in Newborns. Available online: http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstf/uspshemo.htm.

  2. Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 01, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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