A team of international experts including M. Hassan Murad, M.D., Mayo Clinic Preventive Medicine and Mayo Clinic Robert B. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, has published new clinical guidelines for treatment of sickle cell disease (SCD) in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association. Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder — a condition in which there aren't enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout the body, resulting in anemia, infections and pain.
SCD affects nearly 100,000 people in the United States and is associated with many acute and chronic complications requiring immediate medical attention. While two strongly-recommended, effective therapies -- hydroxyurea and long-term blood transfusions -- have been available, they are underused.
The guidelines provide practitioners with summary of the best available evidence and advice on how deliver high quality care to patients with SCD.
“There are only seven recommendations in which the quality of the evidence is high and the strength of the recommendation is strong,” note the authors. “Research is needed to address many of the identified gaps in the care of people with SCD.”