Sickle Cell Improvement: Enhancing Care in the Emergency Department

About the study

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder affecting approximately 36,000 children in the United States, approximately 90% of whom are Black. The disease is characterized by recurrent, severe pain crises which result in high rates of emergency department visits and hospitalizations, and decreased quality of life. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, as well as the American Society of Hematology, have endorsed pain management guidelines regarding the timeliness of care for children presenting with these acute pain crises. These evidence-based guidelines are infrequently followed, resulting in increased pain and hospitalizations. In additional to other barriers to following the guideline, structural racism has been proposed as a significant contributor and the New England Journal of Medicine recently called for the institution of SCD-specific pain management protocols to combat structural racism and reduce time to opioid administration. The investigators’ long-term goal is to improve the care and health outcomes of children with acute painful vaso-occlusive crisis treated in the emergency department. The overall aim of the investigators is to test a care pathway using multifaceted implementation strategies to increase guideline adherent care for children in the emergency department with acute painful vaso-occlusive crisis.

Study point of contact

David Brousseau, MD, MS
(414) 266-2625
[email protected]


< 18 Years


Not Applicable

Study type






participation requirements

ED visit for uncomplicated pain crisis
Sickle cell disease
Receipt of at least one opioid

participation restrictions

Acute chest syndrome
Fever > 38.5 in the ED
sickle cell trait

Last updated 2022-09-06