Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0299
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Full Text of HR0299  94th General Assembly



HR0299 LRB094 11964 CSA 44811 r


2     WHEREAS, Sickle cell anemia is a hereditary disorder that
3 mostly affects people of African ancestry, but also occurs in
4 other ethnic groups, including people who are of Mediterranean
5 and Middle Eastern descent; and
6     WHEREAS, More than 70,000 Americans have sickle cell
7 anemia, and about 2 million Americans - and one in 12
8 African-Americans - have sickle cell trait; and
9     WHEREAS, Sickle cell anemia is not contagious, so it can't
10 be caught from someone else or passed to another person like a
11 cold or other infection; people with sickle cell anemia have
12 inherited two sickle cell genes, one from each parent; a child
13 who has inherited the sickle cell gene from only one parent
14 will not develop the disease, but will have sickle cell trait;
15 people who have sickle cell trait don't have sickle cell anemia
16 or symptoms of the disease, but they can pass the sickle cell
17 gene to their own children; and
18     WHEREAS, Because people with sickle cell trait don't have
19 the disease, they may never discover that they carry the gene;
20 teens who are unsure of their sickle cell status should ask
21 their doctors about testing; The National Institutes of Health
22 recommends that all newborns be screened for sickle cell
23 disease, and testing at birth is now required in almost every
24 state; this helps infants with sickle cell anemia get the care
25 and treatment they need right away; and
26     WHEREAS, Normal red blood cells are smooth and round like
27 doughnuts and they move easily through blood vessels to carry
28 oxygen to all parts of the body; in sickle cell anemia, the red
29 blood cells change shape; they become hard, sticky, and shaped
30 like sickles or crescents and, instead of moving through the
31 bloodstream easily, these sickle cells can clog blood vessels



HR0299 - 2 - LRB094 11964 CSA 44811 r

1 and deprive the body's tissues and organs of the oxygen they
2 need to stay healthy; and
3     WHEREAS, People with sickle cell anemia have a hard time
4 doing day-to-day activities; their illness is not predictable
5 and causes disruptions at work and school; and
6     WHEREAS, Symptoms include anemia, pain when sickle-shaped
7 red blood cells block the flow of blood to an organ, fatigue,
8 yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), hand-foot syndrome,
9 eye problems, infections, acute chest syndrome (similar to
10 pneumonia), sores (ulcers) on the legs, strokes, and gallstones
11 in the gallbladder; and
12     WHEREAS, One of every 12 African-Americans have the sickle
13 cell trait versus one of every 413 Caucasians; one in every 500
14 African-Americans have the sickle cell disease, the highest
15 incidence of any group; although there is still no cure for
16 sickle cell anemia, improved medical procedures, new research,
17 and increased knowledge have made life less stressful, less
18 painful, and more hopeful for persons afflicted with the
19 disease; people can now live 40 to 50 years or even longer;
20 therefore, be it
23 we acknowledge the serious health problem of sickle cell
24 anemia, particularly the problem it poses in the
25 African-American community, and urge all public and private
26 entities to take every available avenue to inform the public of
27 sickle cell anemia and its effects on the citizens of Illinois.