Sickle Cell Disease: Core Concepts for the Emergency
Sickle Cell Disease: Core Concepts for the Emergency Physician and Nurse Sickle Cell Pain Carlton Haywood Jr., PhD, MA Core Faculty, the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics Assistant Professor, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Paula Tanabe, PhD, RN, FAEN, FAAN Associate Professor Duke University, Schools of Nursing and Medicine
Objectives Identify indicators of pain which are NOT reliable for individuals experiencing a vaso-occlusive Crisis (VOC) Accurately assign a triage category for an individual presenting with severe pain and a VOC Pretest- Question 1 The following are reliable, objective indicators of acute sickle cell disease (SCD) pain a. Elevated blood pressure b. Blood/Oxygen saturation level below 92%
c. Hemoglobin below 8 d. All of the above e. None of the above Pretest- Question 2 An acute sickle-cell pain crisis with no other accompanying complications, & reported pain level of 8/10, is appropriately assigned a triage level of 3 using the Emergency Severity Index recommendations a. True b. False
Epidemiology of SCD Pain Pain drives the majority of interactions with the healthcare system for patients with SCD Generally speaking, there are two types of SCD pain: 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 Chronic Pain : Due to accumulation of organ/tissue damage over timemay also be due to chronic levels of vaso-occlusion
Epidemiology of SCD Pain 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 days7 Unscheduled healthcare utilization, though, only occurred on 3.5% of days Epidemiology of SCD Pain7 55% of patients reported pain on at least 51% of their days 29% of patients reported pain on at least 96% of their days
The iceberg model of SCD pain: a majority of the pain experienced by patients with SCD is not observed by healthcare providers Diagnosing Acute SCD Pain The following objective indicators can be reliably used in the diagnosis of acute SCD pain: Lab work: None known Radiographic findings: None known Vital signs: None known As of this time, there are no objective indicators that can be
used to reliably indicate the presence &/or severity of a VOC The patients self-report is the gold-standard by which a VOC is identified Treating Acute SCD Pain Guidelines for the management of acute SCD pain in the ED typically promote the following principles: Rapid clinical assessment Involve the patient (i.e. ask about medicines/doses that typically work, what was taken at home & how much, how quality of current pain compares to typical acute pain episodes)
Caution: not all patients require high doses of opioids. Aggressive managementtypically involving opioids. Opioids are required for many patients. Use doses that account for opioid tolerance developed from the patients prior history with opioids. Frequent re-assessment and re-administration of pain medicine if patients pain not tolerable Monitor for over-sedation Addiction & Substance-Abuse among Patients with SCD Clinician fears about contributing to, or causing, addiction to
opioids among patients with SCD are a recognized barrier to the delivery of high quality pain management Multiple research studies have found the prevalence of substance abuse and addiction among patients with SCD to be lower than, or at most the same as, that found in the general population High Utilizers or Frequent Flyers There is a known subset of patients with SCD that contributes a disproportionate amount of ED utilization This high-utilizing subset also has been shown to have more
severe disease requiring treatment Recommendations for Emergency Department Triage of SCD The Emergency Severity Index identifies acute sickle cell crisis as a condition that warrants a level 2 (high risk) emergency department triage assignment if pain report is > 7/10: Sickle cell disease requires immediate medical attention because of the severity of the patient's pain, which is caused by the sickle cells occluding small and sometimes large blood
vessels. Rapid analgesic management will help prevent the crisis from progressing to the point where hospitalization will be unavoidable.3 Patient Pain Coping Behaviors There is great variation in patients ability to cope with pain and in the expressions they exhibit while in severe pain Patients may not express as much distress in their appearance as clinicians might assume given the patients reported level of severe pain A patient with SCD is able to watch TV, talk on the telephone,
talk with visitors, or appear relatively comfortable & still be in severe pain in need of aggressive treatment & close monitoring These behaviors & responses to pain are a subset of the coping skills patients have developed from years of experiencing painful episodes Clinical Scenario http:// sickleemergency.duke.edu/content/crisis-experiences-people-si ckle-cell-disease-seeking-health-care-pain
Cut and paste this link into your browser to watch this short video Posttest- Question 1 The following are reliable, objective indicators of acute sickle cell disease (SCD) pain a. Elevated blood pressure b. Blood/Oxygen saturation level below 92% c. Hemoglobin below 8 d. All of the above e. None of the above
Posttest- Question 2 An acute sickle-cell pain crisis with no other accompanying complications, & reported pain level of 8/10, is appropriately assigned a triage level of 3 using the Emergency Severity Index recommendations a. True b. False Posttest Answers & Rationale Question 1
Answer : e) None of the above Rationale: There are no reliable, objective indicators of acute SCD pain. Patient self-report is the gold standard of pain measurement Question 2 Answer: b) False Rationale: The Emergency Severity Index recommendation for an acute SCD pain crisis with a report of severe (>7/10) pain is a level 2 triage rating (high-risk)
References 1. Carroll, C.P., C. Haywood Jr, P. Fagan & S. Lanzkron. (2009). The course and correlates of high hospital utilization in sickle cell disease: Evidence from a large, urban Medicaid managed care organization. American Journal of Hematology 84, 666-670. 2. Carroll, C.P., C. Haywood Jr & S. Lanzkron. (2011). Prediction of onset and course of high hospital utilization in sickle cell disease. Journal of Hospital Medicine : An Official Publication of the Society of Hospital Medicine 6, 248-255. 3. Gilboy, N., P. Tanabe, D. Travers & A. Rosenau. Emergency Severity Index (ESI): A Triage Tool for Emergency Department Care, Version 4. Implementation Handbook 2012 Edition. Anonymous Rockville, MD:Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2011). 4. Haywood, C.,Jr, M.C. Beach, S. Lanzkron, J.J. Strouse, R. Wilson, H. Park, C. Witkop, et al. (2009). A
systematic review of barriers and interventions to improve appropriate use of therapies for sickle cell disease. Journal of the National Medical Association 101, 1022-1033. 5. Jacob, E. & American Pain Society. (2001). Pain management in sickle cell disease. Pain Management Nursing : Official Journal of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses 2, 121-131. 6. Rees, D.C., A.D. Olujohungbe, N.E. Parker, A.D. Stephens, P. Telfer, J. Wright & British Committee for Standards in Haematology General Haematology Task Force by the Sickle Cell Working Party. (2003). Guidelines for the management of the acute painful crisis in sickle cell disease. British Journal of Haematology 120, 744-752. 7. Smith, W.R., L.T. Penberthy, V.E. Bovbjerg, D.K. McClish, J.D. Roberts, B. Dahman, I.P. Aisiku, et al. (2008). Daily assessment of pain in adults with sickle cell disease. Annals of Internal Medicine 148, 94-101. 8. Smith, W.R. & M. Scherer. (2010). Sickle-cell pain: advances in epidemiology and etiology. Hematology / the
Education Program of the American Society of Hematology.American Society of Hematology.Education Program 2010, 409-415. 9. Solomon, L.R. (2008). Treatment and prevention of pain due to vaso-occlusive crises in adults with sickle cell disease: an educational void. Blood 111, 997-1003.
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