Publication Date

Spring 4-10-2018

Document Type

Scholarly Project


Medicine and Health Sciences


Pain management among pediatric patients with sickle cell disease continues to pose a challenge to healthcare providers. Underlying disease processes, family perceptions of painful events, and injury add to the complexity of effective pain management in this population. Sickle cell disease is the most common variant of the many hemoglobinopathies in the world, with painful episodes as the most common presentation to emergency departments for treatment beginning as early as 6 to 8 months of age. Sickle cell pain crisis continues to receive less-than-effective pain management treatment resulting in frequent hospitalizations, chronic pain, and increased morbidity and mortality. This integrative review provides a synthesis of the published evidence regarding the best approach to pharmacological management of pain during sickle cell pain crisis in the pediatric population. Results of these studies strongly correlate pharmacological pain management of pediatric sickle cell crisis pain on consensus and expert opinion with few strong research studies conducted to completion. The literature also suggest new knowledge in the areas of pathophysiology and pharmacogenomics in provider decisions in pharmacological management of pediatric sickle cell crisis pain is not seen in clinical practice resulting in undertreatment and repeated hospital admissions. The undertreatment of pediatric sickle cell crisis pain contributes to morbidity and early mortality in this patient population.