Sickle cell infusion centers are a better option than emergencies, study finds –
Infusion centers provide more comprehensive care for CSD than hospital emergency rooms.
A new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine shows that people with sickle cell disease in acute pain attacks received dramatically improved care in specialized infusion centers than in emergency departments, including faster access to pain treatment and reduced hospitalization rates. The study demonstrates how the barriers to the quality of emergency services treatment for sickle cell anemia may result in a higher percentage of negative results for patients.
“Getting care in the right place at the right time makes the lives of patients better – and better for providers and better for payers,” said Sophie Lanzkron, senior author and hematologist and director of the Sickle Cell Center. for adults at Johns Hopkins.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines sickle cell anemia (SCD) as a group of inherited disorders of red blood cells. In patients with sickle cell disease, “the red blood cells get hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a sickle. Sickle cell cells die prematurely, causing a constant shortage of red blood cells. Also, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and obstruct blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems such as infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke, ”the agency explains.
National Institutes of Health calls for immediate pain treatment for SCD if needed, which will help the patients “move and breathe, improve blood circulation and get oxygen throughout the body to end the seizure.” However, people with sickle cell disease have long reported receiving mistreatment in the emergency room, and some have suggested they even faced racist comments such as “blacks have greater tolerance for pain.” (because the disease disproportionately affects Americans).
The number of crisis situations that arise in the emergency room at any given time also decreases the quality of care and the attention these patients need. People with sickle cell disease also said they were asked or disbelieved when expressing the pain they are feeling and not given the pain relievers they need due to suspicion of opioid addiction.
To improve the quality of care for people SCD, some medical institutions have set up separate infusion centers, sometimes called “day hospitals”, with staff trained to help patients going through sickle cell crises. “Sometimes they are separate facilities, while sometimes they include a few beds in a larger center,” according to the study.
The infusion center “offers a better way to manage this horrible disease,” wrote Julie Kanter, hematologist and University of Alabama director at Birmingham Sickle Cell Clinic for Adults. “Hospitals should recognize the value of the infusion center model as a requirement for doing what is right for people with SCD. “
Overall, the team found: “It took patients in infusion centers an average of 62 minutes to get their first dose of pain relievers compared to 132 minutes in centers versus emergency rooms. And patients in infusion centers were four times more likely to return home, perhaps because the faster and more aggressive pain treatment they were receiving prevented the need for hospitalization. So patients get what they need faster without the paperwork associated with emergency room admissions and there is a significant need for more of these centers to improve the quality of care.