Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley now offers a sickle cell program at its Beeghly campus.
“We see more cases of sickle cell than any other disease in our Mahoning Valley office,” explains Jeffrey Hord, director of Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. “This new program offers a multidisciplinary approach that provides and coordinates services designed to reduce difficulties associated with sickle cell disease and related disorders.”
The Region VI Sickle Cell Program is funded by the Ohio Department of Health and Akron Children’s Hospital and is one of six such state-funded programs in Ohio. The overall goal of the program is to improve the lives of those affected by or at risk for hemoglobin disorders. The team develops an individual plan to meet each patient’s medical, psychosocial, educational and support needs.
The Sickle Cell Program is responsible for the subspecialty care of more than 200 children, adolescents and young adults in northeast Ohio who have sickle cell disease. The team is also responsible for the follow-up of all abnormal newborn hemoglobinopathy tests in the region.
Each year such testing identifies approximately six to 10 children with sickle cell disease and 500 children with sickle cell trait, thalassemia or other hemoglobinopathies. Additional services include genetic counseling specific to hemoglobin disorders, community educational programs, public awareness campaigns and patient and family advocacy.
A hemoglobin counselor/educator is based at Akron Children’s Mahoning Valley as a resource for patients and community groups throughout the region.
Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disorder of the hemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells, which may cause the red cells to take an abnormal shape and interrupt the blood supply to various parts of the body. Complications of sickle cell disease include pain episodes, stroke, and an increased risk of infections.
New program offers coordinated treatment for sickle cell patients in Mahoning Valley
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