New Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center In Memphis
(Memphis) Memphis has the second largest population of sickle cell patients in the country.
Now, there is a health clinic to provide emergency and primary care to patients who suffer from the blood disorder.
“The protocol ten years ago was to get to us first,” said Khamsim Jackson.
Jackson says that’s no longer the case.
He was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at the age of four and quite often has to make trips to the hospital for emergency care.
She says that usually means waiting several hours just to see a doctor, “I’m in pain most of the time. I’m doubled over in pain, short of breath. I can’t get oxygen which would help me get through the wait.”
She can now get the oxygen, intravenous hydration and pain medication she needs, in as little as thirty minutes, at a new outpatient infusion unit.
It’s part of Methodist Healthcare’s Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center which is designed to reduce hospital rates for sickle cell patients and improve their quality of life.
“We know for sure that a four to six-hour treatment in this infusion center can prevent a four to six-day admission. The quicker you get to the crisis, the quicker you can turn it around,” said Mark Yancy, Manager of Operations.
The center also has a prevention, or primary care clinic, to help doctor’s stay on top of patient’s conditions.
The center is the only one it’s kind within a 300-mile radius of Memphis and one of only a handful in the U.S.
Jackson has already lost eleven friends to sickle cell anemia.
She’s hoping this support system will keep her from loosing any more, “I’m thankful I lived to see this because I didn’t think I would.”
The center is open weekdays from 8am-5pm, but they hope to expand the hours in the future.
For more information on how to become a patient call (901)516-8785 or log on to http://www.methodisthealth.org/healthcare-services/sickle-cell-center/