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<< Sickle Cell Disease And Other Hemoglobinopathies: Approaches To Emergency Diagnosis And Treatment

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Patients with a painful crisis may be discharged from the ED if their pain is controlled and there is no evidence of significant concomitant disease. Encourage them to follow up with their physician, and provide adequate oral analgesia. Patients with acute chest syndrome, splenic sequestration, or aplastic or hyper-hemolytic crisis will require admission to the hospital. Children and adults with fever are best managed depending on the clinical picture. Those at low risk of complications may be managed on an outpatient basis if close follow-up is ensured.

In addition to pain medications, consider suggesting that patients take over-the-counter zinc tablets. Two studies suggest oral zinc, given as 50-75 mg of elemental zinc daily, can decrease bacterial infections, hospitalizations, and the number of vaso-occlusive crises.143,144

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Last Modified: 07/23/2017
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