Improving Quality of Care for Sickle Cell Patients in the Pediatric Emergency Department.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify the factors associated with delays in treatment of sickle pain crisis in the pediatric emergency department with the goal of discerning whether earlier pain management is correlated with better clinical outcome. METHODS: This retrospective study examined data collected from clinical records of patients, aged 21 years or younger, who was treated for sickle cell pain crisis between January and June 2012. Demographic and clinical characteristics were extracted from electronic records, as well as time of registration, triage, initial pain assessment, analgesic administration, and pain reassessment. RESULT: A total of 160 sickle cell pain crises visits by 67 unique patients were identified. Opiates were the most common initial pain medication prescribed and administered. The mean time to initial analgesic administration and pain reassessment was 89 and 60 minutes, respectively. Patients with orders for imaging studies experienced significant delays in time to initial analgesic medication and pain reassessment. In addition, higher triage pain score correlated with shorter time to first dose of pain medication. However, age, sex, and final disposition did not affect time to administration of analgesic medications.Earlier pain management resulted in shorter ED length of stay for all patients regardless of disposition. However, earlier pain management did not affect the total length of hospitalization for patients admitted to the inpatient services. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric patients with sickle cell pain crises experienced significant delays to initial analgesic medication. A standardized approach to pain management may improve ED management of SCD crises.
Lin, SM; Strouse, JJ; Whiteman, LN; Anders, J; Stewart, RW
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