Hartford Hospital Adopts Sickle Cell Disease Emergency Room Pain Management Plan

Hartford Hospital has recently adopted a Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) policy/protocol for the Emergency Department.

Sickle Cell Disease is a group of inherited disorders where the red blood cells - which are usually round and flexible and move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body - become hard and sticky and look
like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle.”

When the malformed sickle shaped cells travel through small blood vessels, they may get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems such as infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.

The pain experienced by patients with SCD can often be managed at home. However, in extreme cases, individuals warrant a trip to the hospital for intravenous narcotic medication administration.

The primary concern of SCD patients when admitted to the hospital is often
a pain crisis. Unfortunately, pain often becomes the sole focus of managing
the disease without the implementation of a plan to address preventative

A comprehensive plan will aid in assuring access to adequate pain management and appropriate triage in addition to mitigating frequent admission and unnecessary length of stay.

To keep with the mission of Hartford Hospital, the development of this SCD plan will aid in providing a consistent patient-centered experience.