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Our Healthcare System Abandons Adult Sickle Cell Patients


When Janoi Burgess was a child, he thought doctor appointments were fun.

“I used to love it because they had a section where you could play games,” said Burgess, who was born with sickle cell anemia, an inherited blood disorder. “They were really nice and friendly.”

But when he turned 21, the South Florida resident could no longer go to his pediatric specialist. Instead, he “bounced around” to various primary-care doctors for adults, none of whom seemed well versed in the details of his condition. When he had a painful sickle cell crisis two years later, his only choice was to go to a hospital emergency department, where, he says, he waited three hours for pain medication.

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