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reference materials

Sickle Cell Anemia Treatment & Management

key information

source: Medscape

year: 2016

authors: Joseph E Maakaron


The National Institutes of Health advises that optimal care for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD), including preventive care, is best achieved through treatment in clinics that specialize in the care of SCD. All patients with SCD should have a principal health care provider, who should either be a hematologist or be in frequent consultation with one.

When severity of the patient’s crisis is assessable, self-treatment at home with bed rest, oral analgesia, and hydration is possible. Individuals with SCD often present to the emergency department (ED) after self-treatment fails. Do not underestimate the patient’s pain. Failure to treat acute pain aggressively and promptly may lead to chronic pain syndrome. According to the 2003 BCHS acute painful crisis guidelines, analgesia should be administered with 30 minutes of entering the hospital, with the goal of achieving effective pain control by 60 minutes.

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