By Sean Marshall
There were a few interesting news stories involving sickle cell anemia this week and one of them came from sciencecodex.com. The article was all about the how certain sickle cell sufferers are always victims of discrimination. It also went into detail about how this discrimination can affect the treatment of these individuals. It was explained that people with sickle cell anemia that have been discriminated against "have a 53-percent increase in the chances of not following doctors’ orders."
The study was conducted by The Journal of General Internal Medicine but was originally conducted by Carlton Haywood Jr. of the Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the US. The study was originally went to monitor those who suffer from sickle cell in order to learn how close a patient follows doctors’ orders and the reasons behind those decision.
It was explained by sciencecodex.com’s article that Haywood's team "monitored the experiences of 291 patients with sickle cell disease who were treated at two academic medical centers in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. metropolitan area. The results comprise part of the Improving Patient Outcomes with Respect and Trust." The evidence then showed that roughly a third of the patients did not follow what their doctor had told them. With further studying it was found that "58 percent of the non-adherent group had at least one experience of being discriminated against based on their race or health status."
Other results from the study included such findings as "people who had previously experienced discrimination were 53 percent more likely to not always stick to their physician's recommendations."
What is truly interesting is that the article explained that the findings are consistent with previous studies among other chronically ill patient groups. It shows that this is happening all over North America and it has a profound effect. If there is no trust between patient and doctor how can anyone get better? Even the article commented on this issue by pointing out that "these also show how discrimination affects a patient's trust in the healthcare system, and the person's subsequent willingness to follow prescribed treatment regimens."
If you would like to read more about the study you can find the article here: http://www.sciencecodex.com/sickle_cell_patients_who_experience_discrimination_miss_out_on_treatment-141275
Other news coverage of sickle cell this week included a doctor in Dallas Texas who is trying to create sickle cell guidelines. Doctor George Buchanan of UT Southwestern Medical Center was part of a panel of experts this week that were dealing with top medical issues.
Buchanan was specifically tasked with what the article described as "more than 500 specific directions for doctors who treat sickle cell patients." Buchanan explained one new medication that can really make a difference for the sickle cell community. "One of them is a medication called hydroxyurea that one takes once a day, and this reduces in the blood stream the number of sickle cells," he also continued to recommend treatments including transfusion therapy.
In the article Bunchanan explained the importance of transfusion therapy, "this is one of the treatments of sickle cell that is greatly under-utilized," Buchanan said. He went on to say "all of these things go a long way toward improving quality of life. "The article also explained that with improved medical treatment, nearly 100,000 Americans could lead longer lives.
There was also mention of The Otis Uduebor Sickle Cell Foundation is sponsoring a 5K Race and Family Day at Bachman Lake Park in Dallas from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
"We're trying to encourage sickle cell families to come out and get connected with other sickle cell families," said the foundation's founder and President Cynthia Uduebor Washington. The park is located at 3500 W. Northwest Highway. Free food and medical information will be provided. There's a registration fee for the 5K.at Saturday, September. So if you're in the area feel free to drop in next Saturday.
You can find a link to the article here: http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/health/2014/09/12/sickle-cell-blood-diseases-health-african-american-health/15538853/
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