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Guideline

Sickle cell disease: managing acute painful episodes in hospital

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Last updated:27th Jun 2012

This guideline covers managing acute painful sickle cell episodes in children, young people and adults who present at hospital, from presentation until when they are discharged. It aims to reduce variation in how acute episodes are managed in hospital, focusing on effective, prompt and safe pain relief.

This guideline addresses the management of an acute painful sickle cell episode in patients presenting to hospital until discharge. This includes the use of pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions, identifying the signs and symptoms of acute complications, skills and settings for managing an acute painful episode, and the information and support needs of patients.

This is an overarching guideline covering the principles of how to manage an acute painful sickle cell episode in hospital. Local protocols should be referred to for specific management plans, including drug choice and dosages. This guideline includes the management of acute painful sickle cell episodes in children and young people and in pregnant women. The guideline recommendations apply to all patients presenting with an acute painful sickle episode unless there are differences in management for these groups, in which case these are clearly outlined.

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