Treating Patients with Sickle Cell Disease in New Jersey: How Palliative Care Can Help
Hackensack University Medical Center
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) impacts Black people at a higher rate than other racial and ethnic groups. Pain is the most common complication of SCD and the biggest reason for emergency room visits. In 2019, the Hackensack palliative care team identified that a significant proportion of patients in the system with SCD were not being seen by the palliative care service. Chart and care plan reviews revealed that patients with SCD who received palliative care consults had increased services and personalized care compared to patients only seen by the pain service. In response, the palliative care team created a process in which every patient with a sickle cell anemia crisis or related acute admission was seen by the palliative care service; the process also ensured equal access to the outpatient palliative clinic.
Katie DeMarco, DNP, MSHS, FNP-BC, APN, ACHPN
Clinical Supervisor and Palliative APN
Marisa Hamilton, LCSW
Social Worker, Pain and Palliative Medicine