Focusing on Preventative Care to Manage Sickle Cell Disease
IHTC’s primary goal is to prevent complications before they occur. With an in-depth knowledge of sickle cell disease, the medical staff will monitor the status of your health through the use of the following tests and screenings, such as:
- Transcranial Doppler ultrasounds detect early brain changes and risk of stroke
- sleep studies pinpoint sleep and breathing abnormalities
- pulmonary function tests identify lung damage
- abdominal ultrasounds detect the presence of gallstones and constipation, and they help with evaluation of your liver, spleen, and kidneys
- vision screening identify eye changes
- mental health screenings help determine your emotional adjustment
- blood tests spot iron overload and signs of renal disease
- echocardiograms screen for pulmonary hypertension
- genetic counseling helps with family planning
Sickle cell is a disease that, over time, can affect multiple organs and body systems. Coordinating care with other medical specialists based on each patient's needs is part of our care model. Specialists may include but are not limited to:
- wound care
- general surgery
- primary care
Planning for Procedures
People with sickle cell disease are more likely to need surgery than the general population because of complications due to their condition such as gallstones, infections, and joint problems.
Because surgery exposes patients to many factors that are known to cause sickling, persons with sickle cell disease undergoing surgery require meticulous care to prevent complications after surgery.
Assessment and pre-operative transfusion may be needed to improve surgery outcomes. Any preparation is determined by the specific procedure and the general health of each patient. IHTC will work with providers including surgeons, dentists, etc. to develop a plan for before, during, and after the surgery.
Sickle cell disease is a lifelong disorder. Adequate insurance coverage is needed to access state of the art medical care and services.
IHTC has insurance coordinators who can assist with reviewing current insurance benefits or evaluating new plans for adequate coverage. They can also help with applications to Medicaid, Medicare, and children with special healthcare needs.
Call the IHTC for more information about planning for preventative care.