Background: Day hospital management for patients with sickle cell disease experiencing uncomplicated vaso-occlusive pain crises has been described in adult populations as an alternative care delivery system. The objective of this study was to characterize and descriptively assess the benefits of a day hospital exclusively designed for children.
Procedure: We retrospectively studied all admissions to the Day Hospital at the Texas Children's Sickle Cell Center since its inception in 2000. A Day Hospital admission was defined as a minimum of two consecutive days of aggressive pain management as an outpatient, including intravenous hydration and analgesics, supported by home treatment over night with oral analgesic and anti-inflammatory agents. We gathered data on demographics, incoming pain score, provider type, opioid administration, length of stay, and needs for higher level care.
Results: A total of 35 patients, ages 2-19, accounted for 80 episodes during the study period. The median incoming pain score was 8 on a scale from 1 to 10. The median length of stay was 2 days. The return rate for acute care within 48 hr for persistent symptoms was 7%. Seventy-one percent of patients admitted to the Day Hospital were treated without requiring transfer to inpatient care for escalating pain or medical needs.
Conclusions: We conclude that a dedicated Day Hospital facility has the potential to provide patient-centered, effective, and timely management of vaso-occlusive crises in children as well as adults.
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.