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Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2017 Dec 8;2017(1):412-417. doi: 10.1182/asheducation-2017.1.412.

Improving Emergency Department-Based Care of Sickle Cell Pain.

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Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Departments of Emergency Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, New York, NY.


Pain is the leading cause of emergency department (ED) visits for individuals living with sickle cell disease (SCD). The care that is delivered in the ED is often cited by patients with SCD as the area of health care in greatest need of improvement. In 2014, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute released guidelines for the care of SCD, including recommendations for the management of acute sickle cell pain in the ED. These guidelines provide a framework to understand the elements of ideal emergency sickle cell pain care; however, they do not provide guidance on barriers and facilitators to achieving these ideals in the complex system of the ED. Presented in this article are 4 tenets of implementing guideline-adherent emergency sickle cell care gleaned from the available literature and continuous quality improvement efforts at our institution. These include: (1) strategies to reduce negative provider attitudes toward patients with SCD; (2) strategies to reduce time-to-first-dose of analgesic medication; (3) strategies to improve ED pain care beyond the first dose of medication; and (4) strategies to improve ED patient safety. Application of the principles discussed within can improve patient and provider satisfaction, quality, and safety.

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

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