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30 years of screening, counselling and clinical care at the Manchester Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Centre

Sickle Cell

"Building on the past towards a brighter future"

The Manchester Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Centre celebrates its 30th anniversary with a conference and family event on Sunday 27 October 2013.

The event will take place at the Victoria and Albert Marriot Hotel, Water Street, M3 4JQ, Manchester from 10.30am to 7pm. The entry is free for patients.

Founded in 1983, the community service delivers culturally sensitive quality care to patients with haemoglobin disorders such as sickle cell disease (SCD) and thalassaemia.

These disorders are commonly found in people of African, Caribbean, Eastern Mediterranean, Middle Eastern or Asian heritage but have been known to affect individuals of any ethnicity.

Haemoglobin disorders are genetically inherited blood diseases that affect how oxygen is carried in the body. The symptoms can include severe anaemia, intense pain, damage to major organs and infections. Although there is no routine cure for sickle cell, patients can be supported to manage their pain, and regular monitoring can help to avoid life threatening complications such as stroke. In England, sickle cell affects an estimated 14,500 people with an estimated 240,000 carriers.

In beta thalassaemia major, the most severe form of thalassaemia, the body is unable to produce haemoglobin - the element in blood that transports oxygen. Patients therefore need regular blood transfusions throughout their lives. They also need daily treatment to deal with the iron overload that builds up in their body. Complications include diabetes, growth problems, and problems with puberty or early menopause.

In England, around 750 people are affected by thalassaemia major with an estimated 214,000 carriers

The Manchester service was recently peer reviewed and described as excellent in an audit as part of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust children's services. It received a gold Clinical Governance award 2009 and 2010.