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Sickle cell: Just half of nurses and doctors feel confident about treating illness, report finds

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Only half of healthcare professionals feel they have sufficient tools to manage the long-term damage that sickle cell disease brings, new research has revealed.

The in-depth study by Global Blood Therapeutics - carried out across 10 countries including the UK, US and Canada - shows that patients living with the illness remain dramatically underserved by healthcare systems, while healthcare professionals don’t feel like they have the knowledge of the disease or their patients, to properly treat them.

More than two in five (43%) doctors and nurses cited difficulties due to having different ethnic backgrounds from their patients, it was revealed, while almost three quarters (73%) stated patients of lower economic status can be more difficult to treat. Almost a third of healthcare professionals (31%) found it challenging to understand their patients’ needs.

Sebastian Stachowiak, Head of Europe and GCC at Global Blood Therapeutics, told The Independent that the survey “confirms the lack of options for physicians” and expressed hope that, with recent advances in available treatment, patients can be better served in the future.

The study also found that almost half (46%) of patients say that emergency room healthcare providers did not believe them about their symptoms, while 48% said that they have been treated like a drug seeker in the emergency room.

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Source: The Independent, 14 June 2022

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