When emergency rooms began filling with people with Covid-19 in the spring, there was one group of extremely high-risk patients who were too afraid to go.
People with sickle cell disease frequently need emergency medical care, but during the height of the pandemic, many suffered at home from fear of exposure to the coronavirus. The consequences of that hesitation are only beginning to be known.
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Emergency departments are “usually, unfortunately, our first access point when it comes to getting treated for pain and other complications” of the disease, Kyle Smith, 31, of Philadelphia, said. But “people with sickle cell disease were terrified to go, even though they were in desperate need of treatment for pain.”
Smith was just a baby when he had his first complication from sickle cell disease.