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Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2017 Dec 8;2017(1):406-411. doi: 10.1182/asheducation-2017.1.406.

Five lessons learned about long-term pain management in adults with sickle cell disease.

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Medical Sciences Institute, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI; and.
Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.


Chronic pain affects one-half of adults with sickle cell disease (SCD). Despite the prevalence of chronic pain, few studies have been performed to determine the best practices for this patient population. Although the pathophysiology of chronic pain in SCD may be different from other chronic pain syndromes, many of the guidelines outlined in the pain literature and elsewhere are applicable; some were consensus-adopted in the 2014 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute SCD Guidelines. Recommended practices, such as controlled substance agreements and monitoring of urine, may seem unnecessary or counterproductive to hematologists. After all, SCD is a severe pain disorder with a clear indication for opioids, and mistrust is already a major issue. The problem, however, is not with a particular disease but with the medicines, leading many US states to pass broad legislation in attempts to curb opioid misuse. These regulations and other key tenets of chronic pain management are not meant to deprive adults with SCD of appropriate therapies, and their implementation into hematology clinics should not affect patient-provider relationships. They simply encourage prudent prescribing practices and discourage misuse, and should be seen as an opportunity to more effectively manage our patient's pain in the safest manner possible. In line with guideline recommendations as well as newer legislation, we present five lessons learned. These lessons form the basis for our model to manage chronic pain in adults with SCD.

[Available on 2018-12-08]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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