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How One Medical Team is Working Prevent Strokes in Kids with Sickle Cell

October 24, 2017 by Andrea
TCD

Photo: StockSnap.io



With a 24 percent chance of having a stroke before the age of 45 and a 67 percent chance of recurrence, it's easy to see why a team of doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have made stroke prevention in sickle cell warriors their priority.

Just how are they able to prevent a possible stroke from happening, though? Turns out, there's a test called a transcranial Doppler exam, which has actually been in existence at least since the early 2000s. Problem is, according to Dr. Julie Kanter, a hematologist and researcher at MUSC, only about 30 percent of children with sickle cell in the U.S. are being tested.

"When I see kids -- or adults -- not getting the care they're supposed to, that everyone should be giving them, it's very bothersome," Kanter said in a recent interview with the University's media relations team. "Doing the TCD is like a colon cancer screen. If you do a colonoscopy, you can prevent colon cancer by taking the necessary steps following that colonoscopy. If we do a TCD and it's abnormal, you can start transfusion therapy and prevent stroke."

Along with two other MUSC researchers, Dr. Kanter will lead a study to determine what's really preventing some kids from getting the screening they need. From there, the team will analyze their results to find ways to ensure that screening rates rise.

For more information on this study, read the complete article here.


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