Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder.
At least 100,000 Americans live with the disease with approximately 4,000 patients in Maryland.
In the U.S., sickle cell primarily affects African American and Hispanic individuals.
Sickle cell disease causes destruction of red blood cells due to the presence of abnormal hemoglobin S.
Complications of sickle cell disease can include:
- Vaso-occlusive pain crises
- Acute chest syndrome
- Iron overload
- Chronic kidney disease
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Musculoskeletal changes
Sickle Cell Requires Regular Treatment
People with sickle cell disease have a chronic condition that requires regular medical attention. Active hematologic management can improve quality of life and lengthen life expectancy in those individuals living with sickle cell disease.
Hematologists are physicians who treat individuals with blood disorders. The University of Maryland Medical Center has two adult hematologists who specialize in caring for patients with sickle cell disease. These physicians see patients in the hematology clinic in Stoler Pavilion located on the first floor of the main hospital.
As sickle cell disease can involve many areas of a person’s health, a comprehensive approach to care is often required. The hematologists at UMMC are joined by a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons, and emergency medicine physicians to facilitate coordinated care.
Adult hematology at UMMC works closely with pediatric hematology to assist in a smooth transition to adult care.
Treatments provided at UMMC for sickle cell disease include:
- Regular examinations, including tests and immunizations
- Red blood cell exchange
- Bone marrow transplant (hematopoietic stem cell transplantation)
- Infusion center services location at the Coordinated Care Center (C3)
- Clinical trials, in which new therapies not yet widely available are tested against standard treatments