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Through the Microscope: Blood Cells - Life's Blood

Sickle cells

Sickle cells are red blood cells that have become crescent shaped. When a person with sickle cell anemia is exposed to dehydration, infection, or low oxygen supply, their fragile red blood cells form liquid crystals and assume a crescent shape causing red cell destruction and thickening of the blood. Since the life span of the red blood cell is shortened, there is a temporary depression of red cell production in the bone marrow, and a subsequent fall in hemoglobin (and therefore the resultant anemia).

Sickle cells