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patient education

Sickle Cell Disease: Core Concepts for the Emergency Physician and Nurse

key information

source: StudyLib

year: 2013

authors: Carlton Haywood Jr.


Epidemiology of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) Pain –

• Pain drives the majority of SCD patient interactions with the healthcare system
• Generally speaking, there are two types of SCD pain:

1. The vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) – also known as a “sickle cell crisis”; an attack of acute pain due to vaso-occlusion that is the “hallmark symptom” of the disease.
2. Chronic Pain – Due to accumulation of organ/tissue damage over time…may also be due to chronic levels of vaso-occlusion

• Research has shown that the underlying burden of SCD pain is higher than most clinicians are aware
• In a study of approximately 31,000 SCD patient diary days, pain was noted on 54.5% of days
• Unscheduled healthcare utilization, though, only occurred on 3.5% of days


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