Johns Hopkins Sickle Cell Center for Adults
The Johns Hopkins Sickle Cell Center for Adults, established in 2002, is dedicated to providing accessible and efficient services for the emerging group of adult SCD patients who live in the greater metropolitan Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas. The Center is the only one of its type in Maryland devoted exclusively to caring for individuals over the age of 18 with the disease.
The Center provides a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to care, including regularly scheduled outpatient visits, screening for hydroxyurea eligibility (this is a treatment that has decreased painful crises and reduced mortality by 40% in adults), genetic counseling, pain management, education, wound care, psychiatric and social services. In addition, the Center offers transition services to young adults who need to move from pediatric care to adult care. The transition process is rarely easy, and the Center has the social work expertise and resources to assist with this important change.
In February of 2008, the Center opened the Sickle Cell Infusion Center (SCIC) which allows patients to bypass the emergency room and be treated in a center dedicated to providing specialized care for adults with SCD in crisis. Currently, over 500 patients utilize the Center’s multidisciplinary continuum of services.
There are several notable benefits from opening the SCIC. Prior to its inception, between 38-50% of patients were admitted through the emergency room. Currently, the percentage of patients who visit the SCIC and are admitted or sent to the emergency room (i.e. percent that do not go home from the SCIC) is 14%. An overwhelming 86% of the patients seen for crises in the SCIC are able to return home and manage their crisis pain with oral medications. The positive impact of the SCIC has reached beyond the Johns Hopkins Hospital. There has been a 7% drop in hospital discharges for SCD in the Baltimore area. This change is reflective of the growing number of patients who are now seeking services at the SCIC and avoiding inpatient and emergency room care.