Sickle Cell Disease
This animation addresses the pain of Sickle Cell disease and how clinicians should handle Sickle Cell patients. The pain of Sickle Cell Disease is very real. Sickle Cell vaso-occlusive pain is more severe than most other pain conditions encountered in the Emergency Department. However, it is very important to know that the facial expression of a Sickle Cell patient is not a reliable indicator of pain. They often train themselves to hide the outward pain and keep control of emotions, in order to live with many days and years of pain. Just because it cannot be seen, it is sometimes not treated with the same urgency. Clinicians' behaviors can help the pain medications work better by reducing the patient's fear and increasing their trust. Thus, it is important for the clinician to be courteous, patient, gentle and caring. With adequate management, patients with Sickle Cell Disease can live productive, successful lives despite their chronic pain.