Standards for adult sickle cell disease aim to reduce gaps in care

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 11 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a771
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    Adults with acute crises caused by sickle cell disease should start analgesia within 30 minutes of arrival at hospital, be assessed for potentially life threatening complications, and be seen by specialist staff, recommend new UK standards for best practice published today.

    A multidisciplinary working group, including haematologists, specialist nurses, and commissioners, developed the standards in response to research that shows an unexpectedly high number of deaths from unknown causes in people with sickle cell disease and a general lack of awareness among health professionals of how to manage the condition.

    A study earlier this year by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) of patients with sickle cell disease showed that the cause of death was unknown for more that 25% of patients who had died in hospital. Expert …

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