Emergency department utilization for sickle cell disease in st. Vincent and the grenadines

Academic Article


  • Introduction: sickle cell disease (SCD) is a chronic illness. Individuals affected by this disease are at risk for lifelong complications including episodes of acute pain, chronic pain and multi-organ injury that leads to reduced quality of life and a shortened life span. There is a wealth of data on acute care utilization for SCD in the United States. However, data from the Caribbean region is limited. The objective of this study is to explore Emergency Department (ED) utilization for SCD in St. Vincent and the Grenadines by describing: i) the characteristics of SCD related ED encounters; ii) the urgency of these encounters as defined by resource utilization; iii) the disposition for these ED encounters. Methods: the study was a cross-sectional study utilizing data from the ED log books at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) during non-consecutive time periods between January 1st, 2012-December 31st, 2016. Results: there were 666 SCD-related ED encounters during the study period. Thirty-four percent of encounters resulted in hospitalization and 66% of encounters met criteria for an urgent visit. The most commonly reported diagnosis was vaso-occlusive crisis and accounted for 84% of all encounters. The most frequently documented age group was the 18-30 age category at 43%. Conclusion: although SCD comprised less than 2% of all ED visits, the majority of these visits could be classified as urgent visits based on resource utilization. This study adds to the emerging data on the burden of this disease in this St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
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    Author List

  • Williams SA; Henson S; Trimmingham S; Newman J; Kanter J
  • Volume

  • 38