A Painful Shift in Protocol

Sickle cell patients have been caught in the crossfire as ERs shift their pain protocol, trying to provide effective pain relief without spurring addiction.
"We start creating people with addiction problems at a very early age in sickle cell disease," observes Troy Johnson of St. Mary's hospital ER in Georgia. So they started administering the opioid hydromorphone to sickle cell patients via IV drip instead of direct injections.
Some say these changes obscure the unique needs of sickle cell patients, who experience extreme pain and shortened lifespans as a result of the genetic condition.

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