According to the National Institutes of Health, sickle cell anemia is the most common form of sickle cell disease, or SCD. It’s a hereditary disease, estimated to affect 70,000 to 100,000 Americans. While more prevalent in black Americans, it also occurs in the Hispanic American population. It is a serious disorder where the body produces sickle or crescent shaped red blood cells. The abnormally shaped cells tend to be stiff and sticky, blocking blood flow. This results in pain and organ damage.
“The sickle cell diagnoses represent a broad range of congenital anemias. It is important that these patients receive specialized care, along with acute and chronic treatment for possible complications including pain, infection, acute chest syndrome, stroke and pulmonary hypertension,” explains Dr. Kate Gowans.
To address this Beaumont Children’s Hospital has opened a Sickle Cell Anemia Center offering comprehensive, specialized care for infants, children and adolescents with sickle cell anemia and sickle-thalassemia syndromes. The Royal Oak-based clinic’s medical director, Kate Gowans, M.D., is section head, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Beaumont Children’s Hospital.
The clinic team is comprised of pediatric specialists from hematology, pulmonology, infectious diseases, neurology, gastroenterology, intensive care, emergency care, surgery and cardiology. Beaumont’s Sickle Cell Anemia Center also offers:
- Family-centered comprehensive specialized care, including an on-site laboratory, special immunizations and diagnostic studies recommended by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- Inpatient and outpatient areas staffed by nurses certified by the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses
- Full service outpatient clinic and infusion area
- Support from pediatric pharmacists, social workers, certified child life specialists to assist with coping during hospital stays and surgeries
If you’d like more information or on how to have your child tested, speak with a Beaumont professional at 248-551-0360.