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Smith & Nephew Holds The Middle East’s First Orthopedic Seminar in Dubai

Smith in has organized the Middle East’s first professional orthopedic medical seminar to discuss a destructive disease that is reported highly in the region. This seminar aims to treat patients and it is part of its medical education program in the Middle East. Sickle Cell Disease () is a genetic condition which changes the shape of the red blood cells into sickle shaped due to mutations in the hemoglobin molecule, the cells that give blood its red color. About 5 % of the world’s population carries genes for blood disorders – this is as high as 25 % in regions such as the Middle East, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Because prevention is currently still the only solution for this serious condition, the Saudi Arabia Government has started a mandatory screening for this SCD gene prior to all new marriages. The reason of this step is that every year over 300 000 babies with severe blood disorders are born. Some of these conditions are strong pain episodes and organ failure, infarctions and strokes. The certain mechanism of SCD is studied currently. The small blood vessels of a certain part or organ can be closed affected by SCD, leading to failure, including bone.

SCD patients now live longer and enjoy a better quality of life due to great medical advances for the treatment of SCD. Despite this, there are several complications of living long life that patient can suffer such as the destruction of bone at the hip joints which requires . Orthopedic interventions can significantly limit pain and restore movement and offer some independence and quality of life. “SCD is endemic in the region and especially in the east, west and south of the Arabian peninsula. This seminar was an excellent initiative and a very good start in developing a regional working group to share our ongoing experience in treating this disease. We believe it is the first time that orthopedic surgeons and specialists have met to discuss the subject – certainly in the region and probably anywhere in the world” said Dr Abdullah Sandokji, Assistant Professor of Orthopedics at Deba University in Medina and Chairman of the first orthopedic Sickle Cell Seminar.

SCD patients experience painful bone destruction and hip replacement surgery which is generally compulsory and the number of surgeries being performed on SCD patients is increasing. Dr Abdullah added “We still do not know a lot about the disease and so we need to follow up and do more research to understand the impact of SCD on the bone which leads to these surgeries. This multidisciplinary approach will improve our understanding and treatment of the disease. There has been a great improvement in the medical treatment of SCD but medical advances have been faster then the orthopedic treatment options”.

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