Enhancing the care of patients with sickle cell disease
evidence and practice    

Enhancing the care of patients with sickle cell disease

Diana De Senior lecturer in adult nursing, School of Healthcare Sciences, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales
Annette Blackmore Specialist nurse haematology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, Wales
Hannah Taylor Haematology laboratory manager, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, Wales

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your understanding of the pathophysiology of sickle cell disease

  • To recognise the clinical manifestations and complications of sickle cell disease

  • To support you to increase the understanding of sickle cell disease among your colleagues

When typically round red blood cells intermittently elongate and become lodged in the body’s microcirculation, this can result in painful vaso-occlusive crises, often referred to as ‘sickle cell crises’. The sickling and unsickling process can result in acute pain, chronic anaemia, ischaemic injury and multiple organ damage. One of the main concerns raised by patients with sickle cell disease is the lack of knowledge and understanding of their condition among healthcare professionals in acute care settings. Therefore, this article aims to enhance nurses’ understanding of sickle cell disease and the effective management of painful vaso-occlusive crises. While sickle cell disease was traditionally perceived to only occur in people of black African or African-Caribbean ethnic origin, this article seeks to challenge this belief and reconsider sickle cell as a public health concern for all.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11348

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@TheDianaDe

Correspondence

DeD@cardiff.ac.uk

De D, Blackmore A, Taylor H (2019) Enhancing the care of patients with sickle cell disease. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2019.e11348

Published online: 19 August 2019