Emergency Department Sickle Cell Care Coalition


EDSC3 contributed to a letter addressed to HHS and the CDC raising concerns about the unintended consequences of addressing the opioid crisis for patients with chronic diseases, such as SCD.  The letter also expressed appreciation for the CDC’s recent clarification of its Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, which conveys that the guideline is not intended to deny clinically-appropriate opioid therapy to any patients who suffer acute or chronic pain from conditions such as cancer and sickle cell disease, but rather to ensure that physicians and patients consider all safe and effective treatment options for pain management with the goal of reducing inappropriate use.



EDSC3 hosted the Summit on Improving Emergency Department Care for Sickle Cell Disease in August 2018, bringing together patient advocacy groups, medical societies and governmental agencies to discuss ways to improve care.  Participants identified concrete and specific actions to improve care in the ED within their own organizations, discussed current and future initiatives and learned about areas they could collaborate effectively.  A follow up summit will be held in May of 2019.  



Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a multisystem, progressive disorder that affects approximately 100,000 Americans, primarily of African and Hispanic descent. While considered a rare disease by the National Institutes of Health, SCD is one of the most common genetic blood disorders in the US.  Patients with SCD often require care in emergency departments (EDs), most commonly seek treatment for pain due to vaso-occlusive episodes.  Improving the care of patients with SCD requires a systems approach, focused on both the care provided in the ED as well as post-acute care visits care coordination and follow-up. 

In recognition of the need to improve the care of patients with SCD, ACEP along with Pfizer, offered a grant opportunity focused on supporting quality improvement initiatives designed to improve the assessment and treatment of acute vaso-occlusive crisis pain for adult patients with sickle cell disease treated in Emergency Departments (EDs) in the United States. Six centers in the United States were awarded these grants (see below). 


Improving Assessment and Treatment of Acute Vaso-occlusive Crisis Pain in the ED Setting Grantees:

Project Title

Principal Investigator

Project Location

CRISIS-Collaborative Response In SIckle Cell Systematization

Corrie Chumpitazi, MD MS

Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas

System Level Informatics Interventions to Improve ED Care of VOC

Jeffrey Glassberg, MD MA

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, New York

Sickle Cell Vaso-occlusive Crisis

Anuj Vohra, DO

Orange Regional Medical Center in Middleton, New York

Sickle Cell Disease Patient Navigation Program

R. Gentry Wilkerson, MD

University of Maryland Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland

Subcutaneous Opioids at Triage to Treat Acute Vaso-Occlusive Crises

Caroline Freiermuth, MD

University of Cincinnati Health in Cincinnati, Ohio

Improving Assessment & Treatment of Vaso-occlusive crisis in the ED

Shreni Zinzuwadia, MD

Beth Israel in Newark, New Jersey



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