While Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) has been on the medical community’s radar for over a century, it isn’t until the last decade or two that the disease has become recognizable by the general public. June 19th was officially designated as World Sickle Cell Awareness Day in 2008 in an effort to increase knowledge and understanding of the inherited red blood cell disorder. It is for this reason we’ve gathered stats and treatment tips, along with a breakdown of CMT’s role in patient access to SCD care through genetic testing.
What is Sickle Cell Disease?
According to the FDA and CDC, SCD is an inherited red blood cell disorder. Red blood cells become rigid and shaped like crescent moons, or sickles. When this happens, oxygen cannot get to parts of the body. This can cause fatigue, severe pain, organ damage, or stroke. It is the most common inherited blood disorder in the U.S. and primarily affects African-Americans (1 in 365) as well as Hispanic Americans (1 in 16,300).
In order to inherit SCD, both parents have to carry and pass on the Sickle Cell Trait (SCT) to their children. If both parents have parents have the SCT, their children will then have a 50% chance themselves having the SCT. They will also have a 25% chance of having SCD. It’s best practice to screen early and consult a genetic counselor if SCD runs in the family.
How CMT Can Help
Because children with SCD are at an increased risk of infection and other health problems, early diagnosis and treatment are important. SCD is diagnosed with a simple blood test, most often found at birth during routine newborn screening tests. Additionally, SCD can be diagnosed before birth by laboratory tests (chorionic villus sampling), which is where CMT comes in – performing physician-directed prior authorizations for the tests. We have a vast network of more than 35,000 physicians and our dedicated physician account management team can enroll your physician office quickly and efficiently, ensuring patients get the necessary testing and care.
CMT offers combined expertise in laboratory, technology solutions, and HUB services to help both patients and physicians. It is the market leader in molecular diagnostic patient access, offering prior authorizations, benefits investigation, notifications, genetic counseling, and more.