Sickle Cell

Subhead: 
Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series exploring the uncertainty surrounding sickle cell trait and disease.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 09/30/2009
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On New Year’s Eve, 1904, an intern at a Chicago hospital made note of a peculiar finding.

Through his microscope Ernest Irons saw dozens of healthy round blood cells and a small number of skinny, curved blood cells, as if some healthy cells had been pinched between a thumb and a finger.

In the corner of the “EXAMINATION OF BLOOD” form he filled out that day, Irons drew four little curved lines to illustrate his discovery.

Irons’ patient was the subject of a 1910 paper by Chicago doctor James Herrick, who would later gain fame as the first doctor to identify the heart attack.

Blurb: 
A lack of knowledge and screening has cursed tens of thousands with sickle cell disease.
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Breaking News: 
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Weekend Sports: 
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Subhead: 
Some doctors say sickle cell trait, may be responsible for the sudden deaths of athletes. While findings have been inconclusive, 11 young men have died suddenly and inexplicably during football practice in the last decade with the only unifying factor being that each had the trait.
Publish Date: 
Tue, 09/29/2009
AP Article: 
Not AP Article
Reporter: 

Sickle cell trait was long thought to be common but relatively benign in its carrier’s body. Now, the trait’s connection to a number of mysterious deaths has brought it to the center of a complex debate in college athletics.
In this decade, 11 young men have died suddenly and inexplicably during football practice with the only unifying factor being that each had sickle cell trait.
In the wake of this evidence, the NCAA has recommended that schools screen athletes for sickle cell trait, so as to know which students might be at risk for a similar sudden tragedy.

Editor's Note: 
This is the first of a two-part series exploring the uncertainty surrounding sickle cell trait and disease. Thursday’s story will look at the historical and modern issues blocking medical progress.
Blurb: 
Some doctors say sickle cell trait, may be responsible for the sudden deaths of athletes. While findings have been inconclusive, 11 young men have died suddenly and inexplicably during football practice in the last decade with the only unifying factor being that each had the trait.
Story Attributes
Breaking News: 
Not Breaking News
Front Page Feature: 
Front Page Feature
Section Feature: 
Not Section Feature
Weekend Sports: 
Not Weekend Sports
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