What is self-treatment for sickle cell disease (SCD)?

Updated: May 12, 2021
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

For sickle cell crisis, when the severity of the episode is assessable, self-treatment at home with bed rest, oral analgesia, and hydration is possible. Individuals with SCD often present to the emergency department (ED) after self-treatment fails.

Do not underestimate the patient's pain. United States and United Kingdom guidelines emphasize the need for prompt initiation of analgesia (eg, within 30 minutes of triage)  and rapid initiation of parenteral opioids for patients in severe pain. [46, 50] Early achievement of maximum analgesia has been shown to shorten hospital stays in pediatric patients with pain from SCD. [55]


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