THE HEART OF THE MATTER
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) 

Week: 572.4 Guest: Dr. Griffin Rogers, Nat'l Inst. of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Topic Sickle Cell Advancements .....: Producer/Host: Steve Girard

NEMA: New treatment for sickle cell anemia...coming up....

SPOT: For 15 years, the National Emergency Medicine Association has worked against stroke, heart disease and trauma. Join the effort, call 800-332-6362.

NEMA: Researchers have found the combination of two drugs is having a startling positive impact on people with sickle cell anemia. Dr. Griffin Rodgers from the National Institute of Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains sickle cell...

RODGERS: Their hemoglobin protein is abnormal. The hemoglobin molecules have a tendency to form crystals inside the red blood cell. And those abnormal shaped cells have a difficult time circulating... and ultimately can deprive critical tissues of oxygen.

NEMA: The drugs erythropoitin and hydroxyurea helped as many as 80% of the patients tested... together increasing the basic levels of a prime hemoglobin molecule, which carries oxygen.

RODGERS: ERYTHROPOITIN is a hormone that is produced by the kidney, that is useful in treating patients on dialysis... and in combination with hydroxyurea, erythropoetin seems to be effective in increasing further the level of fetal hemoglobin.

NEMA: Which in turn increases the ability of your blood to cart the oxygen around. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.