UAMS Opens Sickle Cell Clinic - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

UAMS Opens Sickle Cell Clinic

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(KATV)-The Arkansas legislature approved a sickle cell disease task force in 2009. Born of that task force is a sickle cell disease clinic now at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science.

 The third clinic will be held Wednesday, which helps to educate and assist patients with the disease.

 There is also a call center with a panel of nurses at 1-855-Sic-Cell (742-2355). The call center can help with rural patients and doctors.

"We have a call center that patients can call 24 hours a day seven days a week. Providers can call 24 hours a day seven days a week. They get a panel of nurses," said Robin Devan, a doctor at UAMS.

There will also be a transition clinic to help children with sickle cell to transition to adult medical care. Germaine Johnson of the Sickle Cell Support Services group has had sickle cell disease since birth.

"My heart is overwhelmed that someone said hey let's help these people get to a better position," Johnson said.

Sickle cell is an inherited disease in which the red blood cells are mis-shaped. It can be painful and debilitating and those with it have shorter life spans. The registered nurse at the sickle cell clinic knows of this all too well.

"I have two boys that have sickle cell. One who's 21 who that has ST disease. And one that's 11, that has SS sickle cell. So I live sickle cell daily on a daily basis," said Stella Bowers, the registered nurse at the UAMS clinic said.

The most recent sickle cell data is from 2009. The clinic will also create an up to date registry of people with the disease.

"With the registry to find out where everyone is, that's going to be key, too," said Johnson.