|What Cause Red Blood Cells To Stick Together ?
Red blood cells appear as biconcave disks flattened in the middle. Immature cells have a characteristic nucleus. The mature cells lose their nuclei (enucleated). They are flexible and can squeeze through thin capillaries and blood vessels.
These cells travel separately and the chances of them sticking together or against the vessels or capillaries are minimal. In certain cases, the cells appear as long and elongated cells instead of appearing round and disc like. The condition is known as sickle cell anemia and is quite common in African races. As the name suggests, these cells appear like a sickle and are unusually long. This greatly decreases their surface area, which in turn decreases their potential to carry oxygen efficiently. The chances of the cells sticking together or on the sides of the walls of the capillaries or vessels are also very high. In such cases when the cells stick on the walls of vessels, the patient experiences a sharp sensation of pain and discomfort in the region.
These cells have the ability to block the vessel or capillary. In such cases, normal blood flow to the region is affected. The region will be deprived of oxygen and several vital nutrients, minerals, hormones and enzymes. This in turn will deplete the cell or tissue of essential components, decreasing the ability to function normally. In some cases, it may lead stroke, organ damage, tiredness, weakened muscles, infections and cardiac arrest. Damage to vital organs like spleen, breathing difficulties, decreased immunity, ulcers on lower legs, vision and retinal problems, impaired physical growth and yellow discoloration of skin and eyes are observed. Death is also seen in certain cases.
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