Into Adulthood, Sickle Cell Patients Rely on ER (image) Washington University School of Medicine Share Print E-Mail Caption Moving from childhood to adulthood, patients with sickle cell disease rely more on emergency care, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Normal red blood cells (top) are round and disk-like. The genetic disorder causes many red blood cells to develop an abnormal sickle shape (bottom), making it hard for blood to flow through vessels and carry oxygen to the body. The condition can cause debilitating pain, blindness, strokes and pneumonia. Credit Morey A. Blinder, M.D. Usage Restrictions None Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.