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Hematologist Jennie Law interactis with a sickle cell patient

In sickle cell  anemia, red blood cells change shape (from a biconcave disc to a crescent or sickle) due to the presence of abnormal hemoglobin.

Because of this change, affected red blood cells break down faster than normal, preventing the body from having enough red blood cells (anemia).

The misshapen red blood cells sometimes clump together in the veins, resulting in severe pain and other disease-specific complications.

Sickle cell anemia is a genetic condition that requires lifelong care.

We will help you or your loved one manage this disease with the goal of decreasing complications over one’s lifetime.

We provide a multidisciplinary approach to care for our patients with sickle cell anemia and work closely with teams throughout the hospital. In addition, we champion initiatives with our emergency department to provide rapid care for patients presenting with sickle cell pain crisis (vaso-occlusive pain crisis).

To make an appointment with a sickle cell disease specialist, call 410-328-7904. If you are an existing patient, you can call 410-328-7609.

Sickle Cell Anemia Treatment

Sickle cell anemia is a chronic condition and requires regular medical attention.

Treatment options are available to help improve your quality of life. Treatments provided at UMMC for sickle cell disease include:

  • Medical therapy
  • Red blood cell exchange
  • Bone marrow transplant (stem cell transplantation)
  • Same-day infusion services

Clinical Trials for Sickle Cell Disease

As an academic medical center, we offer our patients the opportunity to participate in several clinical trials investigating new therapies not yet available. These clinical trials include:

  • Evaluate the safety and tolerability of different dose levels of IW-1701 -  Learn more at ClinicalTrials.gov
  • Compare two different ways to give opioid pain medicine - Learn more at ClinicalTrials.gov
  • Estimate the efficacy and toxicity of haploidentical bone marrow transplantation (BMT) – Learn more at ClinicalTrials.gov

Sickle Cell Disease Support Group

Hosted at the University of Maryland Medical Center, in partnership with the Maryland Sickle Cell Disease Association, we have monthly support meetings for those with the disease and their caregivers.

For more information, contact the Maryland Sickle Cell Disease Association.

Associated Conditions

Sickle cell anemia can cause blood to clump together in the veins, preventing blood from flowing through your body to your organs.

Complications of sickle cell disease can include:

  • Acute and chronic pain
  • Anemia
  • Chest/lung problems
  • Stroke
  • Iron overload
  • Sickle cell retinopathy
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Avascular necrosis
  • Asplenia
  • Infections
  • Jaundice
  • Gallstones

Make an Appointment

We see patients with sickle cell anemia at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center. To make an appointment with a sickle cell disease specialist, call 410-328-7904.

If you are an existing patient, you can call 410-328-7609.