Between 70,000 and 100,000 Americans are affected by sickle cell disease (SCD), yet there are no comprehensive pain management guidelines for healthcare professionals to follow. The 2014 Expert Panel Report from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute contains 12 recommendations, culled from a report from the American Pain Society and the American Academy of Pain Medicine.
Current management of SCD chronic pain was evaluated using previous trials, studies, and case reports. Adapting some previously published recommendations, the 12 include 1) encouraging the use of nonpharmacologic treatments such as massage and self-hypnosis; 2) utilizing a treatment plan based on a partnership agreement; and 3) assessing non-SCD pain.
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