When You Show Up in E.R. with Sickle Cell - Diverse Health

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When You Show Up in E.R. with Sickle Cell

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by Mary Hulihan, MPH, DrPH, CDC Guest Blogger and Mandip Kaur, MPH, CDC Guest Blogger

“You’re too pretty to have a disease,” declared the nurse in the emergency department (ED) dismissing Constance Benson’s reports of unbearable pain, a byproduct of her sickle cell disease (SCD). Constance, who is in her late twenties, is a professional actress and model living in Kennesaw, GA.

It wasn’t until Constance’s blood tests came back with information about her blood count that she was treated with the care and attention she deserved. “If I had a broken leg, it would be different. If I was having a heart attack, it would be different. But because I had sickle cell disease and I look like a normal person, my pain was dismissed.”

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