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Improving the Lives of People with Sickle Cell Disease

Presented on .

Sickle cell disease (SCD) describes a group of inherited disorders that can cause red blood cells to develop in an abnormal rigid sickle or crescent shape. These inflexible sickle-shaped cells can stick to the walls of blood vessels and block the flow of blood completely, leading to a lack of oxygen in surrounding tissues. In addition to sudden, excruciating pain events known as pain crises, SCD can lead to strokes, organ damage, joint and bone problems, and other severe health consequences. The effects of SCD begin around 5 or 6 months of age and continue over a person’s lifetime. There is no national registry for SCD, but experts estimate that this disease affects approximately 100,000 people in the United States alone.

Over the past 30 years, treatments for SCD and its complications have improved average life expectancy, but these treatments can be costly and invasive. Additionally, healthcare needs and access to care may change over the course of a patient’s life. Through continued collaboration with clinicians, researchers and the SCD community, we can identify critical gaps and better understand how these treatments can improve the lives of people with SCD.

This session of Public Health Grand Rounds discusses SCD, what we know, and how far we have come in just a few decades.

Beyond the Data
In this session of Beyond the Data, Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Dr. Kathryn Hassell discuss sickle cell disease, what it is, and how far care, treatment, and patient outcomes have come in the last 30 years.
Presented By
Mary Hulihan, DrPH
Health Scientist, Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch,
Division of Blood Disorders

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC
Kim Smith-Whitley, MD
Director, Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Kathryn Hassell, MD
Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology
University of Colorado Denver
Jean Raphael, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Baylor College of Medicine
Facilitated By
John Iskander, MD, MPH
Scientific Director
Phoebe Thorpe, MD, MPH
Deputy Scientific Director
Susan Laird, MSN, RN
Communications Director
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Continuing Education
This session is available for Continuing Education (CE). Register here using the course information below.

CDC Course Code: PHGR10
CPE UAN: 0387-0000-16-109-H04-P

For more information, see Grand Rounds Continuing Education.

Page last reviewed: February 28, 2018
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