Georgia Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center

Nation's Best Sickle Cell Care

Sickle cell disease is a chronic, incurable, genetic disease of the blood. 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 is the world’s first 24-hour comprehensive primary care clinic for adult patients with sickle cell disease and remains the only comprehensive sickle cell center in Georgia. It provides acute care services for pain crisis management 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Our hematologists are specialists in sickle cell disease and your needs from that. 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 disease modification treatments to reduce the rate of pain episodes.

Our sickle cell team understands the symptoms that sickle cell patients face, including joint and bone pain, fatigue, infections, and leg ulcers.

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 are shaped like sickles or crescent moons. This anemic condition typically results in fatigue.

Learn more about anemia.

Infections

People with sickle cell disease have an increased risk of developing certain infections, including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, meningitis, and bone infections because sickle cells affect the spleen, leading to damage and poor protection against infection. We administer immunizations to help protect against infections.

Kidney Disease

Sickle cell patients can be affected by developing kidney disease. We have a multidisciplinary approach and have kidney specialists in the outpatient clinic to provide care for this complication.

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.

Stroke and Acute Chest Syndrome

Sickle cell patients may be at risk of stroke and acute chest syndrome. We reduce the risk by getting patients on chronic transfusions and disease-modifying treatments such as hydroxyurea.

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Treatments We Offer

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

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Erythrocytapheresis and Transfusion Therapy

We provide in-center red blood cell exchange, also known as therapeutic erythrocytapheresis and transfusion therapy as well. Erythrocytapheresis is a non-surgical 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. Transfusion therapy involves administering red blood cells to patients on a regular basis.

Hydroxyurea

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.

Pain management

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

New Therapies: L-glutamine, Crizanlizumab and Voxelotor

L-glutamine (ENDARI), Crizanlizumab (ADAKVEO) and Voxelotor (OXBRYTA) are both recently FDA approved therapies for sickle cell disease and are available for consideration for treatment for sickle cell patients at the center.

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:

  • Acute care services for pain crisis 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Outpatient services with specialists in kidney disease, stroke, and transfusion therapy
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Support Services

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

  • Social work service
  • Sickle cell education
  • Pediatric transition classes
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Research

As one of the nation’s elite teaching hospitals, our clinicians are driven to explore new treatments and therapies for patients with sickle cell disease. They are involved in studies aimed at finding better and more effective ways to care for sickle cell patients. Research conducted at Grady is helping to redefine the way doctors around the world treat sickle cell. This commitment to research means that Grady offers the best standard of 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.

Fuad  El Rassi
Fuad El Rassi

Director Sickle Cell Research at the Gerogia Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center