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Sickle Cell Care

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Sickle Cell Care

The Augusta University Sickle Cell Center is a comprehensive, internationally recognized, center for sickle cell disease treatment and research.

Walter L. Shepeard Building
989 St. Sebastian Way
Augusta, GA 30912
(706) 721-2171
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  • Sickle Cell Care

About

Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder. It is not an infection or cancer, rather, a person has to inherit a gene from each of their parents who carry the sickle cell genetic trait.  The sickle cell disease causes the shape of red blood cells, which are normally round and smooth, to be curved like a sickle, and become hard and sticky.  This makes it difficult for the cells to flow smoothly through small blood vessels and cause blockages that can lead to serious infections and pain. In young children and throughout life, this can lead to stroke and other health problems.  Sickle cell diseases include:

  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Other types of Sickle hemoglobinopathies

At Augusta University Health we see both adults and children with sickle cell disease. The Sickle Cell Center has a dynamic synergy that puts it at the forefront of patient care, research, and education by offering:

  • Multidisciplinary care: We bring together Augusta University faculty from medicine, pediatrics, hematology/oncology, allied health, anesthesia and perioperative medicine, biostatistics and epidemiology, molecular biology, and other specialties to diagnose and treat our sickle cell patients.
  • Outreach services: We provide outreach clinic sites for children and adults with sickle cell disease across Georgia in Athen, Valdosta, Waycross, Athens, Albany, Macon, Savannah and Sylvester.
  • Research and clinical trials: Advancements in treatment options for our patients is something we consider a priority at Augusta University. We are currently involved in clinical trials in pediatric and adult medicine including a bone marrow transplant study, drug development and discovery of genetic modifiers that could greatly benefit individual living with sickle cell disease.

Augusta University has played an important role in the development of clinical programs and research in sickle cell disease. From the 1920-50's, Dr. Virgil Sydenstricker, for whom a branch of the hospital building is named, had a strong interest in sickle cell disease. Dr. Titus H. J. Huisman (1959-95) led hemoglobin research and later the Sickle Cell Center.

Academic Advantage

This rich heritage in sickle cell disease research will continue to grow and enrich the lives of patients, parents, and young professionals.  Our institution is committed to the continued research of sickle cell disease and the compassion and dedication of our faculty and staff ensures that our patients will always receive the very best medical care. The current program directors are Dr. Betty Pace (Pediatrics) and Dr. Abdullah Kutlar (Adult).

Donating to the Sickle Cell Program

The Sickle Cell Center accepts donations through the Augusta University Foundation. Opportunities for giving include:

  1. Patient Emergency Fund - Assists patients with travel expenses for services provided at Augusta University; provides assistance for emergency medications; etc.
  2. Research and Education Fund – help provide access to educational conferences to healthcare professionals in training and in service. Ensures funding for sickle cell-related research for the faculty at Augusta University.
  3. Endowed Chair - Investment for professorships, scholarships, fellowships, lectureships, book funds, and other purposes for those in the field of sickle cell disease.

For additional information, visit Augusta University’s Office of Advancement.

We are open to adult sickle cell patients Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM at the Center for Blood Disorders in the Walter L. Shepeard Building (EF). In addition to routine office visits, a treatment room is available for management of acute problems.

Adult clinical services at Augusta University Health Sickle Cell Clinic include:

  • Diagnosis, of sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and other hemoglobinopathies.
  • Transfusions and infusions at the Georgia Cancer Center Infusion Clinic.
  • Ambulatory care and treatments for patients with sickle cell disease.
  • Preliminary treatment of acute sickle cell pain emergencies and admission to Augusta University Medical Center, if necessary.
  • Prescription requests will be fulfilled within 48 to 72 hours of calling.
  • Adult Sickle Cell patients call: (706) 721-2171

We also provide referrals for disease-related complications to other Augusta University Medical Center services including:

  • Orthopedic (bone, muscles and tendon)
  • Renal (kidney)
  • Cardiac (heart)
  • Ophthalmic (eye)

Adult Outreach Clinics

Albany, Georgia

1009 N. Monroe Street- Suite B
Albany, GA 31701

(229) 312-9050

Macon, Georgia

171 Emery Highway
Macon, GA 31201-3666

(478) 745-0144

Savannah, Georgia

1107 E. 66th Street
Savannah, GA 31404

(912) 350-8404

Sylvester, Georgia

807 South Isbella St
Sylvester, GA 31791

(229) 776-6961

The Pediatric Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program at Children's Hospital of Georgia is the only facility in the Augusta, Georgia and surrounding area that offers hematology sub-specialty care for children with sickle cell disease. We also service children with sickle cell disease in South Georgia by conducting monthly on-site and/or Telemedicine clinics in Valdosta, Albany, Waycross, and Dublin, GA, supported by the Georgia Department of Public Health. 

All babies born in Georgia are screened for sickle cell disease at birth because early diagnosis and specialized care can prevent death and serious complications in the first year of life.

The Titus Huisman Laboratory in the Blood Disorders Center at Augusta University is a designated state Newborn Screening Laboratory for the confirmation of children suspected of having sickle cell disease and other hemoglobinopathies.

Our Pediatric Sickle Cell Clinic offers:

  • Comprehensive care, diagnosis, evaluation, multidisciplinary care, surgery and psychosocial support for patients and families.
  • Child Life Specialists, to help children understand and cope with treatment.
  • 24-hour acute care and health maintenance services.
  • Transfusions and infusions, at the infusion suite adjacent to Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic in the Medical Office Building, 3rd
  • Transcranial Doppler ultrasound testing and interpretation for stroke prevention.
  • Ophthalmology referrals, to prevent blindness
  • Pediatric Sickle Cell patients call: (706) 721- 0174  

Pediatric Outreach Clinics

Pediatric Sickle Cell Clinic

1447 Harper Street Medical Office Building- 3rd Floor
Augusta, GA 30912

(706) 721-0174

Pediatric Specialty Clinic

810 13th Avenue, Suite 108
Albany, GA 31702

(229) 312-5480

St. Mary’s Hospital

1230 Baxter Street
Athens, GA 30606

(706) 389-2800

Dublin, Georgia

654 County Farm Road
Dublin, GA 31021

(478) 272-2051

Valdosta, Georgia

206 S. Patterson Street
Valdosta, GA  31602

(229) 245-4310

Waycross, Georgia

21123 Church Street
Waycross, GA 31501

(912) 285-6304

Patients with sickle cell diseases need ongoing treatments throughout their lives so that they can live healthy and pain free.  Treatment options include:

  • Comprehensive education, about sickle cell disease for families with a child born with sickle cell disease,
  • Hydroxyurea, an oral medication taken to reduce abnormal blood cell production, which, can help reduce pain, prevent serious complications and improve daily quality of life.
  • Folic acid supplements, to help a patient’s body make new red blood cells.
  • Offer recent FDA-approved drugs, for treatment of sickle cell disease.
  • Pain management, for acute and/or chronic pain related to sickle cell disease.
  • Penicillin prophylaxis, to help prevent pneumonia and infections in young children.
  • Vaccinations, recommended only for sickle cell patients to protect against bacterial pneumonia and the flu working closely with primary care doctors.
  • Blood transfusions, to replace a patient’s blood with normal blood cells from a donor to stop sickling and manage acute severe complications requiring hospitalization.
  • Deferoxamine treatments, to eliminate excess iron after many transfusions.
  • Infusion and aphaeresis services, for long-term stroke management.

 Support Services

We provide continual care and support for our sickle cell patients and their families throughout their diagnosis and treatment for symptom management and lifelong monitoring. We offer,

  • Follow-up care
  • Patient and family counseling and education to help understand and cope with sickle cell disease.
  • Access to medical social workers and registered dietitians.
 

Our Providers

Augusta University Medical Center specialists provide care and support throughout your entire healthcare journey.

Badamosi, Nnenna Ukachi, MD, MPH

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Kutlar, Abdullah, MD

Hematology/Oncology

Pace, Betty Sue, MD

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

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