Georgia Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center

Nation's Best Sickle Cell Care

Sickle cell disease is a chronic, incurable, genetic disease of the blood that can be painfully debilitating. About 100,000 Americans are affected by this disease, which occurs in one out of every 365 African Americans.

The Georgia Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at Grady was the world’s first 24-hour comprehensive primary care clinic for adult patients with sickle cell syndromes and remains the only comprehensive sickle cell center in Georgia. It provides acute care 24/7.

Our hematologists are specialists in you and your needs. We will be a steady companion and partner, providing the care you need.

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Why Choose Us

No one in Atlanta has the Sickle Cell expertise you find at Grady.

Grady’s Sickle Cell Center treats thousands of patients a year for the full range of problems associated with the disease – from acute pain care to blood transfusions and hydroxyurea treatments to reduce the rate of pain episodes.

Our sickle cell team understands the symptoms that sickle cell patients face, including swelling, bacterial infections, leg ulcers, and eye damage.

And, because Grady has one of the region’s most active research programs, we provide access to some of medicine’s most promising emerging therapies.

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What We Treat

Sickle cell disease is common and can affect many people. We routinely care for the illnesses most common issues, including:

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Fatigue and Anemia

Sickle cell anemia is a condition in which there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen adequately throughout your body. The red blood cells become rigid and sticky and are shaped like sickles or crescent moons. This anemic condition typically results in fatigue.

Learn more about anemia.

Dactylitis (swelling of the hands or feet)

This is severe pain that affects the bones of the hands, the feet, or both. It’s often the first symptom of sickle cell disease in babies. Dactylitis is caused by blocked blood circulation.

Bacterial infections

People with sickle cell disease have an increased risk of developing certain infections, including pneumonia, blood stream infections, meningitis, and bone infections because sickle cells clog the blood vessels in the spleen, leading to damage and poor protection against infection.

Leg ulcers

Sickle cell patients commonly develop leg ulcers requiring intense wound care to reduce the pain and heal the lesion.

Learn more about leg ulcers.

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Treatments We Offer

We provide the more comprehensive care available for sickle cell disease patients, including:

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Apheresis (blood filtering)

We provide in-center red blood cell exchange apheresis, also known as therapeutic erythrocytapheresis. This is a nonsurgical therapy that removes and replaces a patient’s red blood cells. A patient’s blood is removed through a needle or catheter and circulated through a machine that separated red cells, white cells, platelets and plasma. The red cells, which are responsible for carrying oxygen to all parts of the body, are discarded and replaced with red blood cells provided by a blood donor. The donor red blood cells circulate back to the patient with the other blood components (white cells, platelets and plasma) through a return needle.

Pain management

We help to manage patient pain using a variety of non-narcarcotic prescriptions and other therapies.

Hydrea clinics

Hydroxyurea is a medicine that is used to reduce the frequency of pain and the need for blood transfusions in sickle cell patients. Hydroxyurea works by increasing the level of a special type of hemoglobin called hemoglobin F (HbF), which is more effective in binding and carrying oxygen around the body, reducing anemia symptoms.

Leg/wound care

We use a multi-disciplinary approach to treat these slow-healing wounds.

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Make an Appointment

Call our 24/7 scheduling center at (404) 616-1000.

If you are an existing Grady patient and have a MyChart account, visit MyChart to request your appointment online.

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Locations and Directions

Grady Memorial Hospital
80 Jesse Hill Jr Drive SE
Atlanta, GA 30303

Ground Floor

Acute Care: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
Outpatient Care: Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 4:30 PM

(404) 616-1000 (Main)
(404) 616-1000 (Appointments)

Parking is available

Public Transportation

Need directions? Download Grady GO! our free app for turn-by-turn directions to your destination.

Download our app from the Apple Store   Download our app from Google Play

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Facilities

The Grady Sickle Cell Center is designed to meet the needs of each patient. We have:

  • 10 beds for acute care patients
  • In-center apheresis (blood filtering)
  • Hydrea clinics
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Support Services

Sickle cell disease can take a serious toll on both patients and their families. To provide support through this difficult time, we offer:

  • Sickle cell education
  • Monthly support group meetings
  • Pediatric transition classes
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Research

As one of the nation’s elite teaching hospitals, our orthopedic clinicians are involved in studies aimed at finding better, more effective ways to care for sickle cell patients. Research conducted at Grady is helping to redefine the way doctors around the world treat trauma and orthopedic conditions. This commitment to research means that Grady offers the best standard emergency care – and the best emerging care. The benefit to patients is clear: They have access to treatment options unavailable at most other institutions.

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Our Doctors

Every hospital treats patients. At Grady, we strive to treat them better, more efficiently, and more effectively. Our Sickle Cell Center is staffed by physicians, nurses and other staff specialized in treating conditions that severely limit patients’ lives. This mission to care for all who need us attracts physicians from across the nation who are drawn to Grady because we test the limits of medicine through innovation and research.

Our zeal for innovation has given Grady a national reputation for medical advances in sickle cell, trauma care, burn, stroke, diabetes, infectious diseases, women’s health, sickle cell, and other conditions treated by specialists in our centers of excellence. Access to all these accredited practices is available to every Grady patient and our collegial environment means that specialists routinely help to care for their colleagues’ patients.

Though clinicians are drawn by Grady’s reputation, most are employed by the Emory and Morehouse schools of medicine, which staff our medical services. Grady is one of a handful of U.S. health systems whose patients are cared for by faculty members of two medical schools. This reinforces our commitment to ongoing innovation.

Sidney F. Stein
Sidney F. Stein

Chief of Service, Hematology and Medical Oncology