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People with sickle cell disease are at increased risk for severe complications from COVID-19, an expert says.
“Many patients experience a pain crisis, also known as a vaso-occlusive crisis, early in COVID-19 infection before respiratory symptoms develop,” said Dr. Jennie Hart, clinical director of pediatric hematology/oncology at Herman and Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai in Baltimore.
COVID-19 can cause severe inflammation and lung injury. And that can have a greater impact on people with sickle cell disease, a group of inherited red blood cell disorders, Hart said.
People with the disease, which most commonly affects black people, have misshapen red cells that can get stuck and clog blood flow, inhibiting oxygen delivery, damaging blood vessels and causing inflammation.
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This platform is made possible through a partnership with the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SCDAA) and its member organizations. SCDAA's mission is to advocate for people affected by sickle cell conditions and empower community-based organizations to maximize quality of life and raise public consciousness while advancing the search for a universal cure.