Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. People with sickle cell disease have red blood cells that contain mostly hemoglobin S, an abnormal type of hemoglobin. Sometimes these red blood cells become sickle-shaped (crescent shaped) and have difficulty passing through small blood vessels.
It is most common in West and Central Africa where as many as 25% of the people have sickle cell trait and 1-2% of all babies are born with a form of the disease. In the United States with an estimated population of over 270 million, about 1,000 babies are born with sickle cell disease each year.
As recently as the 1960's, sickle cell disease was considered an issue of childhood care, since relatively few patients survived very far into adulthood. No universal cure for the disorder has been developed. However, improvements in general medical care and the development of palliative treatments have extended life expectancy well into adulthood.
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Persons with sickle cell trait have been shown to be more vulnerable than those without trait to heat stroke and muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis) when subjected to strenuous forced exercise in military training under unfavorable environmental conditions.
The SCDAA supports the implementation of universal, safe training guidelines for all athletes, and to rigorously educate and improve the capacity of athletic coaches and trainers to recognize signs and symptoms of heat related illness and to provide medical care to athletes who become ill or injured under their supervision.
The SCDAA makes recommendations for those athletic programs that choose to follow those of the NCAA...