MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Patients and quality improvement experts popped up at some local hospitals Tuesday as part of Sickle Cell Awareness Month.
We caught up with the group at Baptist Memorial Hospital. The goal of the visits is to help medical experts better understand the potential stigma, challenges and barriers to care for people living with Sickle Cell. It provided a rare view from sickle cell patients for the vital need for care at Memphis emergency departments.
“The primary chronic condition of a sickle cell patient is pain, and proper management is critical to their long-term survivability. So part of this is an education around recognizing while we’re treating the opioid epidemic appropriately, we also need to recognize that there’s certain chronic conditions in which pain management is critical to their care,” said Dawn Fitzgerald, CEO of Qsource.
Sickle Cell Disease is the most common genetic blood disorder in the United States with a majority in African-American births. In Memphis and the Mid-South, the rate of disease is higher than the national average. Approximately 2,000 African Americans in the area are affected by the disease.