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Managing Sickle Cell Disease in the ED: Point of Care Tool

key information

source: American College of Emergency Physicians

summary/abstract:

Patients may not be glad to see you – show them you are here to help 

• Negative ED experiences in the past may make them guarded or mistrustful. 

• Pain can make anyone irritable, impatient, or upset.

• Empathetic nonverbal communication is essential (eye contact, facial expressions, gestures).

• Be patient when asking questions; it is often difficult to speak when in severe pain.

• Assign an emergent priority ( e.g., ESI level 2).

• Severe pain that cannot be managed in the waiting room.

• High-risk situation that needs rapid evaluation for other serious complications.

• Increase level of concern if the pain is not similar to prior episodes or new symptoms are present.

• Patients with more than 3 admissions/years for sickle cell pain are at increased risk of death.

 

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