Providing Comprehensive Care for Patients with Sickle Cell Disease
University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center’s Adult Sickle Cell Disease Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, offers complete care for adults in northeast Ohio with sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease is an inherited anemia named for the unusual shape of red blood cells found in people with this disease.
Hemoglobin A is the protein found inside red blood cells that carries oxygen; Hemoglobin S is Hemoglobin A with a mutation. This causes sickle cell disease. Hemoglobin S changes the shape of red blood cells and interferes with the smooth flow of blood and with the transportation of oxygen throughout the body.
In addition to providing advanced medical care, the Adult Sickle Cell Disease team participates in local and national research projects on sickle cell, and participates in national and international meetings on the disease.
Multidisciplinary Care Approach
People with sickle cell disease have to deal with pain from the disease and with frequent hospital visits to treat this pain and other complications of the disease. Patients with sickle cell disease may also suffer from heart, blood vessel, lung, brain and kidney damage. The number of health problems and doctor visits to address these problems can be overwhelming for both patients and their families.
Our fellowship-trained, board-certified specialists understand the challenges for people with sickle cell disease. We provide comprehensive care to patients with this chronic illness in one location. Clinical specialties such as pulmonology (lung), cardiology (heart), pain management, and gynecology all provide clinical services through our adult multidisciplinary clinic.
Along with doctors and nurses, a highly qualified patient navigator helps patients schedule appointments for our clinic. Navigation began in cancer care, and while navigation has not been widely applied to chronic illness, it has been very important to the success of the Adult Sickle Cell Disease Clinic. Our patient navigator helps patients schedule and get transportation to many important clinical tests, including:
- Lung function tests
- Exercise (six-minute walk) tests
- Heart imaging (echocardiograms)
- Sleep studies
With patient navigation, our patients have had fewer hospitalizations, especially those who had been hospitalized frequently. With multidisciplinary care coordinated by the patient navigator, fewer patients with sickle cell disease are requiring re-hospitalization within 30 days of leaving the hospital.
We believe this is due to more consistent clinic care and follow-up, made possible through the work between our patients and the navigator.
Call the Adult Sickle Cell Disease Clinic at 216-844-1582 with questions or to make an appointment.