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The U.S. Army has started testing recruits for sickle cell trait (SCT) and plans to implement universal screening soon. Other military branches, such as the Navy and Air Force, already had SCT screening programs.
SCT is an inherited gene mutation that, in most cases, doesn't present symptoms but can have health implications under specific conditions like extreme exertion, high altitudes, or dehydration.
The screening initiative aims to educate soldiers and provide support rather than excluding them from service. It helps identify individuals with SCT, offer counseling, and distinguish between heat-related injuries and SCT-related issues.
Some studies have questioned the necessity of SCT screening, as it affects a small percentage of military personnel, and the risk of complications may be mitigated with proper precautions.
SCT screening is seen as a proactive measure to improve soldiers' health and safety, aligning the Army with other military branches in addressing this condition.
Sickle Cell Trait (SCT) Awareness: Understanding what sickle cell trait is and how it may affect them is crucial. They should know that SCT is an inherited gene mutation that doesn't typically present symptoms but can lead to complications under specific conditions. Being aware of the potential risks associated with SCT during military training and service is important.
Educational Resources: ROTC programs should provide educational resources and training related to SCT. This includes information on recognizing symptoms, preventive measures, and the importance of hydration and gradual physical conditioning, especially in high-stress situations.
Screening and Testing: ROTC participants should know that the military conducts SCT screening and testing. They should understand the purpose of these screenings and how they can help identify individuals with SCT to provide appropriate care and support.
Preventive Measures: It's essential to emphasize preventive measures, such as staying hydrated, acclimating gradually to strenuous physical activities, and recognizing signs of heat-related issues. ROTC programs should incorporate these safety practices into their training.
Support and Resources: ROTC students should be informed about the support and resources available to them if they have SCT. This includes access to healthcare providers, counseling, and assistance during emergencies.
Three key points for RSP
Understanding SCT: Provide a clear explanation of what SCT is. Emphasize that it's a genetic condition affecting red blood cells, and individuals with SCT inherit one normal hemoglobin gene (A) and one mutated gene (S). Make it known that SCT is different from Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), as SCT individuals usually don't experience symptoms.
Importance of Knowing SCT Status: Stress the significance of recruits knowing their SCT status. Explain that awareness of SCT is vital during military service, especially during strenuous training and deployments, as it can impact their health and performance. Highlight that the military screens for SCT to ensure proper care and support.
Military Support: Inform recruits that the military provides support, education, and resources to those identified with SCT. Explain that being aware of their SCT status enables the military to tailor their training and deployment to minimize risks associated with the condition. Encourage recruits to actively engage with the support available.
Before SCT Screening:
After SCT Screening:
Starting January 1, 2023
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We are here to re-educate Biology Classes and Athletic Departments.
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Soldiers, Athletes and people working out enjoying life and living their dream have collapsed and died from Exertional Sickling with Rhabdomyolysis.
*300 Million people Globally live with this gene and millions don’t know and are not aware of the risk factors and health complications associated with this inherited gene.
*Babies are still being born with sickle cell disorder or sickle cell anemia and some parents had no idea they were carriers.
*Many think it’s just African American who carry this gene when really it’s a bloodline gene not a race only gene. Caucasians, Mediterranean, European, Asian and Hispanic to name a few all have this gene in their bloodline.
*There are hundreds of other types of red blood cell conditions with out testing and a family planning process it’s possible to have a child with other types of blood disorders like Sickle Beta Thalassemia, Sickle Cell SC , Sickle Cell SD, SE and many more.
*Blood Transfusion and or Blood Exchanges are one of the few treatments for patients living with sickle cell which why it’s important for our Black and Brown communities to donate blood. Find a American Red Cross near you. .
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Find your Voice with Us
i Bead For Life is an Awareness Campaign create by a young man in Canada who lost a friend to Sickle Cell Disease. He reached out to me to help him share his vision to the world.
Sickle Cell Trait is a bloodline conversation not a race or color