Sickle Cell Tests

The only screening test for sickle cell disease is a blood test. If a parent takes a blood test, they can find out if they carry the sickle cell trait and might pass it to their children. Children can be tested for sickle cell disease will still in the womb. Prenatal screening involves testing a sample of amniotic fluid or placenta for sickle hemoglobin.
When a baby who may have sickle cell disease is born, immediate testing is important. The faster sickle cell is treated, the less invasive it will be. All newborns in America are required to be tested for sickle cell disease. If the test is positive, the newborn is retested to confirm the diagnosis and parents are informed. The newborn's hemoglobin is also tested for other abnormalities, like carrying the sickle cell trait. If a newborn is a carrier of sickle cell, siblings are at higher risk of sickle cell disease.