Sickle cell anemia is a new disease, in the sense that it is just coming into general attention. It appears to be a familial disease or status peculiar to the negro race. Chief of its characteristics is an anomaly of the red blood cells evidenced in their tendency to assume elongated sickle or crescent shapes or various bizarre distortions. In some cases the disease appears to consist in nothing more than this erythrocytic abnormality; again, certain minor physical disabilities may be added, while in occasional cases there are recurrent paroxysms of acute illness with fever, prostration, pain in the extremities or joints and evidences of marked hemolytic blood destruction.
First recognition of the disease is credited to Herrick1 who, in 1910, described a case of severe anemia in which he had noticed that many of the red corpuscles were of peculiar elongated sickle shaped or crescent shaped forms.