Today, Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is the most common inherited blood disorder, affecting between 70,000 – 100,000 Americans. Healthy red blood cells are biconcave, and they move through blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone who has SCD, the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle”. Because of this rigid shape, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow leading to infarction, much like what occurs during a heart attack. In these patients, the infraction or “crisis” can occur anywhere. This can cause extreme pain and other serious problems such infection, acute injury to the lung, heart, brain and kidneys.
With your gift, we believe we can make significant strides to change the natural history of the disease and help patients live a normal "pain-free life". The efforts at the Adult Ohio State Sickle Cell Program has been focused on using new technologies to assist patients in management of their disease, as well as developing new therapies to treat the disease.
One example of a current initiative is a project involving the drug Hydroxyurea. Hydroxyurea, a proven therapy for sickle cell disease, is under prescribed as a chronic treatment for SCD. The therapy can help decrease pain crisis, acute chest syndrome, chronic organ damage, and may improve survival. However, patients are frequently either never offered the therapy or sometimes when the medication is prescribed, patients aren’t adhering to the prescribed dosage due to lack of education. We will address this problem by creating a patient incentive program. We will also create an innovative Hydroxyurea Adherence App to help monitor and incentivize patients to take the medication at the correct dose and on time.
Thank you for your support!