Tocantins offers care for patients with sickle cell disease through the SUS – Tocantins Connection

June 19th is World Awareness Day on Sickle Cell Disease, a disease with great prevalence in the country and in the world, which in Tocantins has comprehensive care by the Unified Health System (SUS). In the state, the treatment is done in the Hematology clinics of Hemorrede Tocantins, located in the General Hospital of Palmas (HGP) and in the Blood Center of Araguaína. The flow of access is via the SUS assistance network, completely free of charge, initiated at the Basic Health Units (UBS) and coordinated by the State Regulation System.

Hemorrede Tocantins’ Hematology units have trained multi-professional teams, which include: hematologist, pediatrician, physiotherapist, psychologist, nutritionist, social service, dentistry, laboratory and nursing team, who work in an integrated manner to guarantee quality care to the user. Currently there are 743 patients registered in Tocantins.

Sickle Cell Disease is a genetic and hereditary disease that is characterized by an alteration in red blood cells, which lose their rounded and elastic shape, acquiring the appearance of a sickle (hence the name sickle cell), which makes it difficult for blood to pass through the vessels and , consequently, oxygenation of body tissues.

The diagnosis can be made early in the life of a child, as explained by the technician of the Directorate of Specialized Care, of the State Department of Health (SES-TO), Rafaela Sousa. “In the neonatal screening of the newborn, a foot test is carried out, an examination carried out at the UBS. If there is any change in the pathology, the patient is referred for a confirmatory test, the Hemoglobin Electrophoresis, at the outpatient clinics of Hemorrede, which also offer the treatment. Units repeat this examination after six months, in accordance with Ministry of Health protocols,” she said.

The nurse at the HGP Hematology Outpatient Clinic, Jaqueline Ourique Picoli, points out that patients are monitored on an outpatient basis. “The consultations are elective and previously scheduled, with doctors and specialist professionals. In case of urgency and emergency, these patients can seek care at the Emergency Care Units and referral hospitals”, she detailed.


In addition to multiprofessional monitoring, patients have access to specific medications such as folic acid, available from the municipal health network, feroxymethyl pericillin potassium, delivered by the hematology clinic, hydroxyurea from the State Pharmaceutical Assistance and other medications also used in the treatment, available according to the medical conduct adopted.


Sickle cell disease can manifest itself differently in each individual. Some have only a few mild symptoms, others have one or more signs. Symptoms usually appear in the second half of the child’s first year of life and can manifest as painful crises, pallor, tiredness, jaundice, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, hand-foot syndrome, swelling in the wrists and ankles, common up to two years of age, period of greater tendency to infections.

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