A facility that treats people affected by the blood-based disorder, sickle cell anemia -- also called sickle cell disease -- received a $50,000 grant from biotech company Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT). The Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center seeks to learn more about treatments for the disease.
Director of Sickle Cell Research Dr. Emily Meier said it is considered rare and not studied as much as more common diseases.
“It's not something that's taught a lot about in medical schools and nurse practitioner schools and physician assistant schools, because people are learning about like heart disease and diabetes, things that occur much more commonly,” Meier said, “and so, there aren't very many providers who have expertise and knowledge about how to treat people with sickle cell disease.”
Pediatric patients transitioning to adulthood face greater challenges in receiving adequate information and treatment, due several factors, including changes in treatment access.
“The adult emergency departments are often much busier and the acuity of adults who are coming into the emergency departments is higher. And so often, the wait times for people with sickle cell disease are really long. Oftentimes, some teenagers will stop going to the doctor; they'll only go to the emergency department if they're in extreme pain,” Meier said.
The inherited condition affects about 100,000 Americans.