EM1701D "Consult a Sickle Cell Expert: How to Apply NIH Guidelines in Caring for Adult Sickle Cell Patients" (IM GR-012017)

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is one of the most common inherited hematologic disorders. Most of the clinical advancements in the U.S. have occurred in childhood leading to high rates of survival to adulthood. The adult patient, however, remain at risk for many complications that can lead to significant morbidity and early mortality. Evidence-based research is sorely lacking in SCD. Further, there is lack of providers that are knowledgeable in caring for adults with SCD. This is likely multifactorial and include issues such as lack of interest in non-malignant hematology training. Specifically, there is a huge gap in trained providers with interest in caring for adults with SCD. Sickle cell experts and stakeholders made the conscious effort to try to provide support to non-experts who encounter these patients. In an attempt to fulfill this need a report on evidence-based guidelines in the care of these patients has been developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the NIH. What is clearly observed in this report is the lack of such evidence-based research that still poses a dilemma in delivery of clinical care. Therefore, consensus statements were provided to allow some guidance for the target audience of the non-hematologist. An additional challenge in the recommendations is to identify sickle cell expertise to address the more complicated challenges that are most readily seen in the hospitalized patient. The purpose of this presentation is to first make internists aware of these guidelines. We will continue this discussion on how to approach some of the common challenges that are encountered when caring for the adult patient with SCD. By the conclusion of this presentation, the audience should be able to access available resources when caring for adult SCD patients and have a more broad understanding of the clinical complexities facing affected patients.

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Target Audience

UT Southwestern faculty, fellows, residents and medical students, community physicians, nurse clinicians, physician assistants and nurses.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the participant should be able to:

  • Better understand Sickle Cell Disease as a disorder with significant medical complications other than pain
  • Provide internists resources in the management of adults patients with Sickle Cell Disease
  • Effectively utilize current guidelines in caring for adult patients with Sickle Cell Disease
  • Work toward breaking the stigma that impedes care delivery to adult patients with Sickle Cell Disease
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Alecia Nero, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Division of Hematology / Oncology

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA


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