What Is Sickle Cell And How Prevalent Is It?

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a major genetic disease in most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The sickle-cell trait is now known to be widespread, reaching its highest prevalence in parts of Africa as well as among people with origins in equatorial Africa, the Mediterranean basin and Saudi Arabia. In Africa, the highest prevalence of sickle-cell trait occurs between latitudes 15° North and 20° South, ranging between 10% and 40% of the population in some areas.


The Flying Doctors Nigeria Air Ambulance company transports a large number of sickle cell patients every year due to our location in Lagos, Nigeria and the disease prevalence in West Africa.


What Are The Complications of Sickle Cell?

Complications of sickle cell disease are due to the sickle- shape of the red blood cells that causes them to lose their elasticity and as a result, clump together. This cell clumping (adhesion) prevents easy flow through the blood vessels. Some of the complications of sickle cell include:

  • Anemia- which is a as a result of a significant drop in the level of haemoglobin (the red cell pigment) in the blood.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)/ Pulmonary Embolism (PE) – This will occur as a result of cell adhesion that will constitute a blood clot.
  • Ulcers- As a result of poor wound healing.
  • Stroke- Also due to cell adhesion.
  • Acute Chest Syndrome- Vaso-occlusive crises that is associated with respiratory symptoms.


How Does This Affect Air Ambulance Transport?

Sickle cell patients that are transported via air ambulance may require:

  • DVT Prophylaxis
  • Supplemental Oxygen
  • Intubation
  • Anaesthetist care
  • Proper nursing care

These and other techniques will come into consideration and action in the transport of patients with sickle cell disease depending on the severity of condition as at the time of transport.

About the Flying Doctors Nigeria Air Ambulance Service 

Flying Doctors Nigeria is an air ambulance service that is dedicated to the specialist transfer of patients from low levels of care to specialist centres. We operate from Lagos, Nigeria and transfer patients between African countries Ghana, Liberia, South Africa, etc as well as the UK, Italy, America and all over the world.

To learn more about us, send us an email at sales@flyingdoctorsnigeria.com.

Or visit our website at www.flyingdoctorsnigeria.com