When do you test for sickle cell anemia?

Sickle cell testing. In the United States, all states mandate testing for sickle cell anemia as part of their newborn screening programs. The test uses blood from the same blood samples used for other routine newborn screening tests. The test can show whether a newborn infant has sickle hemoglobin (from http://www.Nhlbi.Nih.Gov/health/health-topics/topics/sca/diagnosis.Html).
Diagnosis. You only need to check for sickle cell disease at first diagnosis or if both parents are known to be sickle-cell patients. The test is for abnormal hemoglobin molecules caused by a genetic mutation. If you are a carrier or have the disease, that will be with you for life. Subsequently, blood counts need to be done regularly if you get sickle cell episodes.

Related Questions

Is there prenatal diagnosis or test for sickle cell anemia?

Yes there is. Check this web site it will show all detail. http://sickle.bwh.harvard.edu/scd_prenatal.html. Read more...

Why is it more difficult to test for cystic fibrosis than it is to test for sickle-cell anemia?

More tests needed. Sickle cell disease is somewhat easier to diagnose. It is a genetic blood disorder caused by abnormal hemoglobin which tend to aggregate after unloading oxygen forming long, rod-like strictures that cause the red cells to assume a sickle shape. These sickle red cells cannot squeeze through small blood vessel and cause anoxia in organs.Cystic fibrosis is more complex to define resulting from failure to remethylate and shut off MUC5ac, an oncofetal gene which produces mucin in the fetus. Chest X ray and lung function tests may indicate problems from excess mucin. Read more...

I know that the typical test for sickle-cell anemia is a hemoglobin electrophoresis, but will you be able to see the sickle shape of the blood cells?

No. A hemoglobin electrophoresis is not a look at the blood cells, rather it is a determination of the type(s) of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. Cells are looked at under the microscope when a blood count is performed. Sickled cells can then be seen. Read more...
Yes. Sick led cells are readily seen on a peripheral blood smear. It's worth knowing that the irreversibly sick led cells that you see on a smear are not necessarily the ones that cause the problem. In order for a cell at risk for sickling to occlude the small blood vessels (capillaries), they first must be able to enter them. In other words they must be deformable. They become occlusive in the vessel. Read more...

What tests are available for sickle cell anemia?

Peripheral smear. The easiest way is to review the peripheral smear and looked for red cells that look like sickles. If there are, then the next step is to obtain a hemoglobin electrophoresis. Read more...

At what age can I test to see if I am a carrier for sickle cell anemia?

Late teens. Carrier testing should only be done in persons who can give intelligent informed consent. Young children should not be tested. Older teens who can give meaningful consent may be tested. Read more...
Age of consent. You can be tested for this at any age. Your parents can consent if you are below personal age for consent or you can do it if you are over that age. It is a minor, invasive blood test with no risks. You can guess at your changes if you know the status of other family members. Read more...

Are there other tests to determine sickle cell anemia risk if my husband is away serving in the military?

Yes. The first step is testing you for sickle cell carrier status. If not a carrier then no further testing needs to be done. If you are a carrier then the next step is check the father of the baby. If he is unavailable you could have his parents tested. If neither are a carrier then the father can not be a carrier either. If they are carriers then the fathers chances are 50% he is also. Read more...
Only blood tests. People with sickle cell anemia usually are identified very early in childhood, due to symptoms. Sickle cell carriers, have no symptoms and can only be identified by blood test. Inheriting sickle cell disease requires getting a sickle gene from both parents. If you are a carrier and your husband is too, there is a 1 in 4 chance of a child inheriting the disease. Read more...