Use of a National Electronic Health Record Network to Describe Characteristics and Healing Patterns of Sickle Cell Ulcers

Anna Flattau, Hanna Gordon, Giacomo Vinces, William J. Ennis, Caterina P. Minniti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Sickle cell ulcers affect as many as 15% of patients with sickle cell disease in the United States and severely impact quality of life. An understanding of baseline healing patterns is important to inform study design for future trials that test therapies for this disease. Approach: In this study, an electronic wound management system was leveraged to analyze retrospective data on 133 unique sickle cell patients who were treated across 114 wound healing centers, and to describe their characteristics and healing patterns as compared with those of venous ulcer patients. The data included 198 care episodes for 427 wounds. Results: Patients with sickle cell ulcers were younger and had fewer comorbid diseases than those with venous ulcers. Larger size and longer duration were predictors of poor healing. Between the first and fourth assessments, mean change in area for sickle cell ulcers showed a 58% increase, compared with a 13% decrease for venous ulcers. Kaplan-Meier curves showed poorer healing in sickle cell ulcers than in venous ulcers across all categories of size and duration. Patients with sickle cell ulcers had longer care episodes and were more likely to re-present for care. Innovation: This study reports on the largest data set of sickle cell ulcer patients analyzed to date in the published literature to provide a more detailed understanding of wound healing patterns of this disease. Conclusion: A national network of electronic health records can effectively identify a large number of patients with sickle cell ulcers to support analysis of epidemiology, healing patterns, and health care utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-282
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Wound Care
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • chronic wounds
  • healing
  • leg ulcers
  • sickle cell disease
  • venous ulcers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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