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Sickle Cell Pain Crisis 

Sickle Cell Pain Crisis
Sickle Cell Pain Crisis
Acute Pain Medicine

Vikram Bansal

, Deva Sharma

, and Uma Shastri


Acute sickle cell pain crises pose a significant challenge to acute pain medicine physicians. Knowledge of underlying mechanisms, whether vaso-occlusive or not, can be useful in planning successful analgesic regimens. This chapter describes the pathophysiology and epidemiology of sickle cell disease. It also addresses how anesthesiologists should evaluate patients with sickle cell disease and acute pain. The chapter then presents numerous opioid delivery options that should be judiciously utilized to optimize patient function. Nonopioid adjuncts, such as acetaminophen or ketamine, should be aggressively pursued, and in some scenarios, perineural interventions may be appropriate. In any scenario, a comprehensive team-based approach is encouraged.

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