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patient support

We want to make it simpler to find credible, useful information that helps make it a little easier to live with sickle cell. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. There's a lot of great info here, including the CDC's guidance on opioids for sickle cell, your rights as a patient, guidelines to help your doctors with your care, and more.


Have you tested positive for COVID-19? Or do you have a cough with a fever?


MICHIGAN WARRIORS ONLY PLEASE: You can contact your Primary Care Physician or proceed to the nearest emergency room in your area. Please respect the docs' time and dedication and only reach out to them if you’re diagnosed with Coronavirus or have a cough + fever.

We appreciate them being available to the community this way!

We're working to keep you SAFE(R)!
Headed to the emergency room/department (ED)? Take this!
Be sure to keep our SAFE(R) card on hand. It directs physicians/medical personnel to a sickle cell acute care site made just for them - putting all the current clinical practice guidelines at their fingertips in one place. No need to search the internet: PDF documents and source links are all included. 
So before you go, click the image to access a printable version. No time to print? Pull up the page on your phone ( and take a screen shot. When you arrive, present it at the registration desk and note the time. Present another copy at triage. Again note the time. If you're too sick, remember that you have the right to take someone with you to act as your advocate. Let the hospital staff know that's what they're there for. 
We realize not everyone is familiar with the proper treatment for sickle cell. This can help you receive SAFE(R) care. Be sure to take the SAFER ER survey after each ER visit to let us know about your treatment and care.
Contact us with questions or feedback.

A tip from Twitter: Be sure to document your ED provider's name and course of treatment for future reference. Do the same if you're admitted. When someone takes good care of you, shout out a thank you on IG, Twitter or Facebook and tag #scdaami #sicklecell and the hospital. Let's be heard!

SAFER Initiative
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Click the image for a PDF of the NIH guidelines and recommendations for the health maintenance of people with sickle cell. (Approx. 40 pages) Read and provide a copy to your primary care physician. Click the yellow button to go directly to the full NIH document.

Source: National Institutes of Health NHLBI

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The CDC clarified its opioid guideline in a letter to ASH stating it was not intended to manage SCD. The CDC refers providers to NIH NHLBI guidelines for care. Click the image for that letter or the yellow button for CDC statement on guideline misapplication.

Source: American Society of Hematology

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Click the image for a PDF of the full NIH clinical practice guidelines for the management of sickle cell disease  (161 pages). Click the yellow button for a PDF of the NIH's (National Institutes of Health) 48-page quick guide to those practice guidelines. 

Source: National Institutes of Health NHLBI

NIH Guidelines & Opioids
Patient Rights
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Know Your Rights - The Joint Commission

As a patient, you do have rights and a role regarding your treatment and care. This brochure has questions and answers to help you learn about your rights and role as a patient. Knowing your rights and role can help you make better decisions about your care. (Image links to brochure)

Source: The Joint Commission


Speak Up For Your Rights - The Joint Commission

As a patient, you have the right to be informed about and make decisions regarding your care. You also have the right to care that is free from discrimination, as well as the right to have a patient advocate. Learn about the different rights you have as a patient. (Image links to short video)

Source: The Joint Commission


Ask Your Advocate to Speak Up - The Joint Commission

As a patient, you have a right to have a patient advocate - a friend, family member, or whoever you designate. Your advocate can be a partner in your care, helping you through every step of your treatment. Watch this video and ask your advocate to Speak Up™! (Image links to short video)

Source: The Joint Commission

Tools and Tips
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Dr. Wanda Whitten-Shurney's Passport to Health Toolkit is a great source of information for maintaining your health. (Join us for an educational program to receive the backpack that goes with it. *While supplies last!)

Source: Dr. Wanda Shurney


Emergency room visits are a frequent course of action for people with sickle cell. The CDC provides this handout with suggestions for talking with physicians and navigating the experience. 

Source: Centers for Disease Control

Microscope in Laboratory

Research into sickle cell treatments is at an all-time high. New possibilities move through a series of studies and approvals that include clinical trials.  Interested in participating? Here's a list of current NIH-funded trials. 

Source: National Institutes of Health

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The American Society of Hematology (ASH) provides this clear and thorough handout with facts and figures to help educate yourself and others about the biology and impact of sickle cell disease.

Source: American Society of Hematology

Baby's Grasp

A diagnosis of sickle cell comes with its own language. If you're newly-diagnosed, the words can be overwhelming. This glossary will serve as both an introduction and a refresher for those who need it.

Source: Missouri Dept. of Health & Senior Services


Have you encountered unfamiliar terms used in your medical care? If so, you're not alone. Here you'l find definitions in every day language to help you better understand your condition.

Source: Medical Library Association 

Looking for a hematologist?
Try this zip code-based search. (We do not endorse the physicians listed. Use proper care in researching their expertise.) You can also contact our office for suggestions provided by existing patients/clients. 
Hematologist Search
More Online Resources
Other informational resources
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