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Disparities in Health Care and Pain Management for Americans with Sickle Cell Disease 

Disparities in Health Care and Pain Management for Americans with Sickle Cell Disease
Chapter:
Disparities in Health Care and Pain Management for Americans with Sickle Cell Disease
Author(s):

Joseph Telfair

and Lori E. Crosby

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199768875.003.0017
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date: 01 December 2020

Sickle cell disease is characterized by intermittent vaso-occlusive events and chronic hemolytic anemia. Patients with SCD may experience several complications such as vaso-occlusive pain crisis, stroke, and pulmonary hypertension, all of which can contribute to a loss of 20–30 years of life. Vaso-occlusive events result in tissue ischemia leading to acute and chronic pain, as well as organ damage that can affect any organ in the body including the bones, lungs, liver, kidneys, brain, eyes, and joints. Like individuals with similar chronic conditions, these variations are reported to have a profound impact on the biological, psychological, and social development of individuals with SCD, as well as implications for their overall disease management.8 Understanding the impact that sickle cell disease has on the lives of those with the condition, and the areas where disparities exist, must begin with a basic understanding of the condition itself. This chapter provides a brief overview of issues specific to pain management and health care of persons with SCD.

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