Multidisciplinary Approaches to Caring for Sickle Cell Patient: An Interview With Dr. Sharon Singh
I sat with Dr. Sharon Singh, my previous pediatric hematologist and the head of the sickle cell team at the University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, to discuss the best way to care for sickle cell patients. Her answer was clear, hematologists must take a multidisciplinary approach to best care for their patients with sickle cell disease.
This means creating a team with nurses, psychologists, and social workers – like Dr. Singh’s team that once cared for me. Furthermore, it’s crucial the team stays on the same page about each patient in their care.
Open communication between patients and hematologists
Dr. Singh does this with daily team meetings. Every day, she and her multidisciplinary team sit to discuss all their patients and what plans they have for their care. She says patients can help and be more involved in their care by having open lines of communication with their hematologists.
It is then on that hematologist to give their patient the appropriate resources or contacts to solve whatever concerns their patient brings up. This is one solution Dr. Singh offers to mitigating and preventing some of the consequences with the neglect in care sickle cell patients often face.
Navigating current and future treatment options
We also discuss hydroxyurea, the current mainstay treatment of sickle cell disease, the increasing benefits in implementing its use at younger ages, and new treatments available to sickle cell patients. Dr. Singh shares her excitement for all the new medications in development that will allow hematologists to give their patients options that best fit their specific form of the disease.
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