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Project #141:
The impact of COVID-19 on the care of people with sickle cell disease.

  • Type: Service evaluation
  • Topic areas: Other/indirect impacts of COVID on health/healthcare

Sickle cell disease is the name for a group of inherited health conditions that affect the red blood cells. It is a lifelong condition where severe pain episodes, lasting days-weeks, develop episodically. It also increases the risk of infections and anaemia that can cause tiredness and shortness of breath.

During the pandemic people with sickle cell disease were advised to shield and it is also possible that their care was affected due to the indirect impacts of the pandemic. Additionally we have found that people with sickle cell disease who were eligible for COVID-19 therapeutics in the community, got lower access to these treatments than others (see OpenSAFELY Reports).

We would like to use OpenSAFELY-Interactive to assess the impact of the COVID-19 on the care of people with sickle cell disease in primary care. For example we will describe the number of people captured in primary care records before and after the onset of the pandemic which may indicate any disruptions in the sickle cell screening programme, describe the trends in prescriptions for pain to the group and prescribing of antimicrobials to manage symptoms. Our expected outputs will be charts, blogs and academic papers describing our findings.

Examples of specific measures for people with sickle cell disease that we would like to assess using OpenSAFELY-Interactive include; Measure of coding for sickle cell (trait/disease); coding of sickle cell crisis, trends in certain prescriptions such as painkillers and antibiotics.