Sickle cell anemia kills 470 at Qatif hospital in one year

Sickle cell anemia kills 470 at Qatif hospital in one year
Updated 30 August 2014

Sickle cell anemia kills 470 at Qatif hospital in one year

Sickle cell anemia kills 470 at Qatif hospital in one year

Patients and families have expressed outrage over the lack of resources available at Qatif Central Hospital to handle seizures arising from sickle cell anemia, a hereditary blood disorder that has killed 470 people at the hospital in a single year.
Families have demanded that authorities intervene to make the disease more manageable.
The issue has propelled patients, their families and doctors to launch online campaigns and establish groups on networking sites to discuss treatment, dosage and ways to reduce the frequency of seizures, in addition to holding awareness lectures on the disease.
Qatif Central Hospital registered 443 deaths as a result of seizures, while 27 succumbed to the disease without experiencing these convulsions.
A total of 8,833 patients, meanwhile, have been diagnosed with the disease regionally.
“Our children die on emergency beds because of lack of inpatient beds,” a resident said.
Doctors say that patients with the disease suffer pain that is worse than labor pain.
Families have demanded that authorities establish a special hospital for sickle cell anemia patients or allocate a special ward for these cases at the very least.
Sickle cell anemia has no widely available cure. However, treatment can help relieve symptoms and treat complications, such as organ damage and stroke.
Patients with the disease come to the hospital to manage the acute pain arising from the seizures they experience. Many fear being branded addicts since only morphine can quell their excruciating pain.
A lecture was recently organized on sickle cell anemia in the city by a group. Abdul Hadi Al-Habib, one of the founding members of the group, said his organization is still in the process of acquiring a permit to work under an official umbrella.
“We seek to raise awareness and educate patients and their families about sickle cell anemia,” said Al-Habib.