Sickle Cell Disease

​UC San Diego Health is the only program in the San Diego region to provide comprehensive services for adults with sickle cell disease.

We are proud to be a designated center for Networking California for Sickle Cell, which aims to increase access to preventive and coordinated care for Californians with sickle cell disease. 

Sickle cell disease, also called sickle cell anemia, is an inherited blood disorder that is usually diagnosed at birth. It affects the body's red blood cells and its ability to carry oxygen.

It's a lifelong condition that can cause chronic pain, pulmonary hypertension, chronic kidney disease and increased stroke risk, among other complications. Patients often require chronic blood transfusions throughout life to manage their disease.

With recent advances in health care, people with sickle cell disease are living well into adulthood. However, it is very important that they have access to a multidisciplinary team with experience managing this complex condition. Learn more about sickle cell disease.

Services for Adults with Sickle Cell Disease

UC San Diego Health's program offers medical management, care and support for people with sickle cell disease, including:

  • A dedicated team, including Dr. Srila Gopal, founder of UC San Diego Health's sickle cell program, experienced nurse practitioners, dedicated nurse managers, and support staff with specialized expertise in sickle cell disease
  • Regularly scheduled outpatient visits to monitor disease progression, prevent health crises and avoid complications
  • Pain management prescription and monitoring
  • Same-day infusion service for urgent needs, to help prevent emergency room visits and hospitalizations
  • Coordination with Rady Children's Hospital San Diego for transition from pediatric to adult care
  • Coordination with UC San Diego Health's apheresis program
  • Referrals for related services, including pulmonology, nephrology and ophthalmology
  • Education and referrals for support resources, including massage and acupuncture
  • Clinical trials focused on sickle cell disease, including gene therapy

Same-Day Infusion Appointments

Our Hillcrest infusion center has dedicated appointment times for patients who are experiencing a crisis and need urgent infusion services.

Call 619-543-2639

Transitioning From Adult or Pediatric Care

We are experienced in transitioning adult patients from pediatric programs, including Rady Children's Hospital San Diego.

Call us to get started on transferring your records and make an initial appointment.