What can I expect when I first get to hospital?

What can I expect when I first get to hospital?

An acute painful sickle cell episode should be treated as a medical emergency. There should be procedures in place to make sure that you receive the care you need.

The healthcare professionals caring for you should respect the fact that you are likely to be an expert in your condition, as is your carer if you have one. They should ask about and listen to your views, and talk with you about the planned treatment for the current painful episode as well as any treatment you have had for previous episodes. They should also ask you whether you have any concerns about how you are feeling, and whether you need any extra support.

Your healthcare professional should do the following:

  • Ask you to describe how bad your pain is using a pain scoring tool. If you are a child or young person, the type of tool used should be suitable for someone of your age.

  • Offer you pain relief within 30 minutes of arriving at hospital. (See 'Early pain relief' and 'Ongoing pain relief and monitoring' for further details about pain relief.)

  • Regularly check your blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, breathing rate and temperature.

Your healthcare team should also check whether a problem other than an acute painful sickle cell episode could be causing your pain, particularly if it feels different from the pain you have experienced before during a painful episode.

Questions you might like to ask your healthcare team

  • Please tell me more about acute painful sickle cell episodes

  • How long might I have to stay in hospital?

  • Can you provide any information for my family/carers?

Questions that family members, friends or carers might like to ask

  • What types of treatment are available for a child who is having an acute painful sickle cell episode?

  • What can I/we do to help and support the person with sickle cell disease?

  • Is there any additional support that I/we as carer(s) might benefit from or be entitled to?

  • Information Standard