[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 54.161.175.236. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
January 13, 1989

Herrick's 1910 Case Report of Sickle Cell AnemiaThe Rest of the Story

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medical Humanities, East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, NC (Dr Savitt), and the Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago (Dr Goldberg).

From the Department of Medical Humanities, East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, NC (Dr Savitt), and the Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago (Dr Goldberg).

JAMA. 1989;261(2):266-271. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420020120042
Abstract

James B. Herrick's 1910 article presenting the case of an anemic West Indian student with peculiar-shaped red blood cells was the first description of sickle cell anemia in Western medical literature. However, he told only part of the story. Records in Chicago, Washington, DC, and Grenada, West Indies, reveal more information about the events surrounding Herrick's discovery and help put them in historical perspective. Herrick's intern, Ernest E. Irons, abreast of the latest developments in medicine, actually performed the blood work and alerted Herrick about the odd-looking cells. Changing patterns in American race relations allowed the patient, Walter Clement Noel, to study dentistry in Chicago. He continued to receive care from Irons for 2 1/2 years, then returned to Grenada to practice dentistry. Noel died nine years after his return to Grenada, at age 32.

(JAMA 1989;261:266-271)

×