FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne hospitals will participate in research on sickle cell disease in Indiana funded by CDC grant.
The Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center (IHTC) has received a three year grant from the Center for Disease Control to track the amount of Hoosier children born with the sickle cell blood disease. Sickle Cell is a blood disease that changes the shape of red blood cells and can lead to blockages that prevent blood from reaching different parts of the body.
According to Emily Meier, Director of Sickle Cell Research at the IHTC, 50 to 60 children are born with the disease in Indiana each year with Allen County having one of the highest rates. Lutheran Hospital has agreed to collect anonymous data to send to the Indiana Department of Health, who will then partner with the IHTC to analyze the information. The information will be used to improve care for those dealing with sickle cell disease by determining what parts of the state have the biggest problems. Meier said this could mean a longer life for some Hoosiers.
“Because Sickle Cell is a life long blood disorder, the life expectancy for someone with sickle cell is about half that of the average American and so if we can improve care and access to care for people with sickle cell disease, the hope is that then we can help them live better and live longer lives,” said Meier.
According to Meier, they are still working on finalizing an agreement with Parkview.