This guideline covers managing acute painful sickle cell episodes in children, young people and adults who present at hospital, from presentation until when they are discharged. It aims to reduce variation in how acute episodes are managed in hospital, focusing on effective, prompt and safe pain relief.
In August 2016, a research recommendation was removed from this guideline.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- individualised assessment at presentation
- primary analgesia
- reassessment and ongoing management
- possible acute complications
- managing underlying pathology
- non-pharmacological interventions
- discharge information
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- People with sicle cell disease and their families and carers
Is this guideline up to date?
We reviewed the evidence in August 2016. We identified no major studies that will affect the recommendations in the next 3–5 years.
Guideline development process
This guideline was previously called sickle cell acute painful episode: management of an acute painful sickle cell episode in hospital.
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.
Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.