Sickle cell anaemia affects people of African, Afro-Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Indian and Mediterranean descent. In Britain almost 5000 people have the disease1 and many more have sickle cell trait.* Appropriate medical intervention can help and we discuss here the management of the commoner acute problems.2 A haematologist experienced with the disease should review such patients soon after admission; all will subsequently need regular review in a haemoglobinopathy clinic.
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↵* The Sickle Cell Society (Green Lodge, Barretts Green Road, London NW10 7AP, tel 01-961 7795) primarily helps families and individuals affected by the disease.
The Organisation for Sickle Cell Anaemia Research (OSCAR) (Cambridge House, Maze Road, London N22, tel 01-889 4844 and 01-889 3300) exists to help health workers and community leaders as well as affected families.