Sickle Cell Adults Find Health Care System Not Ready For Them
Before advances in care, patients with sickle cell anemia died in childhood or adolescence. But now that they are living to make the switch from pediatric to adult care, they're finding an inadequate supply of physicians who have expertise with the condition and a dearth of infusion centers that could help reduce hospitalizations and the lengths of crises, among other struggles.
Kaiser Health News:
More Sickle Cell Patients Survive, But Care Is Hard To Find For Adults
When Janoi Burgess was a child, he thought doctor appointments were fun. But when he turned 21, the South Florida resident could no longer go to his pediatric specialist. Instead, he “bounced around” to various adult primary care doctors, none of whom seemed well-versed in the details of his condition. When he had a painful sickle cell crisis two years later, his only choice was to go to a hospital emergency department, where, he says, he waited three hours for pain medication. Burgess’ experience is not unusual among many adults with sickle cell anemia, which affects up to 100,000 people in the United States, most of them African Americans. For many years, most people with sickle cell died in childhood or adolescence, and the condition remained in the province of pediatrics. During the past two decades, advances in routine care have allowed many people to live into middle age and beyond. (Marcus, 3/22)
In other public health news —
The Washington Post:
Our Kids Caught A $1,000 Cough. Be Careful: Yours Can Get It, Too.
One winter week, my 7-year-old twins started with stuffed noses and sore throats. We did what parents typically do: We broke out the throat spray, the cough syrup, the decongestant. Instead of going away, the problem got worse. The pediatrician did a test for strep, which came back negative. After that, he just shrugged and told us it was a viral infection, probably stemming from an allergy to dust and pollen. (Cunha, 3/21)
The Associated Press:
Veterans Are Using Pot To Ease PTSD, Despite Scant Research
A growing number of states are weighing whether to legalize marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. But for many veterans, the debate is already over. They're increasingly using cannabis even though it remains illegal in most states and is unapproved by the Department of Veterans Affairs because major studies have yet to show it is effective against PTSD. (3/22)