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Kids Who Need Sickle Cell Meds Don’t Always Get Them

Less than a fifth of U.S. children with sickle cell anemia are getting the antibiotics that could save their lives, a new study finds.

“Longstanding recommendations say children with sickle cell anemia should take antibiotics daily for their first five years of life,” the study’s lead author, Sarah Reeves, said in a news release from Michigan Medicine.

These antibiotics can protect the children against potentially deadly infections, Reeves said. She’s an epidemiologist with the Child Health Evaluation and Research Center at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Bacterial infections are a major health threat for children with sickle cell anemia, but taking daily antibiotics can reduce that risk by 84 percent, according to the study.

However, the researchers found that just 18 percent of children with the blood disorder were taking antibiotics daily.