Carolyn Rowley, PhD: Exhaustion is Expected with Sickle Cell Trait

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Individuals with sickle cell trait not only need to know their status to make informed family planning decisions, but also so they can watch out for the possible symptoms.

The Sickle Cell Trait Awareness Campaign (STAC) was launched in January after 5 years of efforts from the Cayenne Wellness Center, which supports individuals living with sickle cell disease in California. The initiative is aiming to reach adolescents of all races, because despite sickle cell disease (SCD) being predominant in individuals of Black and Hispanic descent, sickle cell trait affects everyone, and it's not asymptpomatic as was once thought.

"It behooves us to target the athletes and the coaches at the schools, so that they can become aware," Carolyn Rowley, PhD, Executive Director of Cayenne Wellness Center said in an interview with HCPLive. The awareness only means that you make accommodations for them to be able to hydrate, that you make accommodations for when they say 'I need to sit this one out for a moment', that they listened to that."

Individuals with sickle cell trait not only need to know their status to make informed family planning decisions, but also so they can watch out for the possible symptoms.

"There's a rare form of cancer that can actually occur, that we didn't know. And when you over exert, that can be fatal, if it's not attended to," she continued.

Research has shed light on a lot of areas related to sickle cell trait that hadn't been observed before. In addition to that, the societal perspective of chronic illness has also shifted.

"If you're feeling with it, though, back in the day, it was 'push, push, push, push, pain, pain, pain is great,' and they would be without water - we can't allow that to occur," Rowley said. "We don't want that to occur. So, we want people, we want the coaches and the athletes to be aware, it is okay. As a matter of fact, everyone should hydrate."

For more of the HCPLive interview with Pat Corley, RN, and Dr. Carolyn Rowley:

  1. Sickle Cell Trait is a Long-Overlooked Gap in Care for Adolescents
  2. Raising Awareness of Complications Associated with Sickle Cell Trait
  3. Pat Corley, RN: To Reduce Sickle Cell Rates, Youth Need to Learn About Trait
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