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2324 Benefit of Inpatient Pain Plan Utilization on Hospital Length of Stay in Adolescents and Young Adults with Sickle Cell Disease

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 901. Health Services and Quality Improvement – Non-Malignant Conditions: Poster I
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Research, Sickle Cell Disease, Clinical Practice (Health Services and Quality), Clinical Research, health outcomes research, Hemoglobinopathies, Diseases
Saturday, December 9, 2023, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM

Dipti Kamath, MD1, Abigail Hayes2*, Madhav Vissa, MD, MS1, Anurag Agrawal, MD1* and Lawrence Long, MD3*

1Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, Oakland, CA
2Yale University, New Haven, CT
3Department of Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, Oakland, CA


Vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) is the most common manifestation of sickle cell disease (SCD) and the most common cause for emergency department (ED) visits and hospital admissions. VOC accounts for approximately 230,000 annual admissions in children with SCD. Patients with SCD face inconsistent analgesic management, leading to high inpatient healthcare utilization and financial burden for healthcare institutions. Furthermore, patients describe their pain management as the area of their care in most need of improvement. A prospective longitudinal cohort study showed that implementation of individualized pain plans in adult patients with SCD significantly decreased the duration of VOC hospital stays by 1.2 days. A similar study in children showed no change in duration of hospital stay, however the study was limited by a small sample size. We hypothesized parallel results to the prior adult study in adolescent and young adult (AYA) SCD patients.


At UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, we implemented inpatient pain plans for SCD patients with frequent VOC admissions (i.e., >1 VOC admission in the prior year or complicated VOC admission history). Pain plans are individualized and embedded into the patient’s electronic health record. These plans include detailed daily analgesic recommendations with the general recommendation for discharge on day 5 of the pain plan.

After IRB approval, we performed a retrospective chart review of SCD patients with individualized inpatient pain plans initiated between November 2017 and April 2022. We recorded baseline demographic information including age at pain plan initiation, SCD genotype and sex. We assessed length of inpatient hospitalization for VOC admissions in the year prior and the year after pain plan initiation for each individual patient. We also noted number of admissions secondary to VOC during this two year time period.


Twenty-six patients with SCD and individualized pain plans were identified (Table 1).

Average length of hospital stay for VOC was significantly decreased in the year after inpatient pain plan initiation (Table 2). There was a trend towards increased admissions due to VOC in the year after inpatient pain plan initiation (Table 2).


Similar to the prior adult study in SCD patients, we found significantly reduced inpatient length of hospitalization after initiation of an inpatient pain plan for AYA patients with SCD and VOC. Although there was a trend towards increased hospitalizations in the year after inpatient pain plan initiation, this was likely secondary to the average patient age with an expected increased in VOC year over year. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) SCD guidelines recommend an individualized prescribing and monitoring protocol be written by a SCD provider and used in patients with VOC to promote effective, timely, and safe analgesic management. We further demonstrate that individualized pain plans for AYA patients with SCD can decrease length of hospital stay due to VOC, likely secondary to more effective pain management recommendations that have been prior agreed upon by the patient/family and SCD provider. We currently are calculating morphine equivalents and hypothesize total opioid utilization will be concomitantly decreased due to this significantly decreased length of hospitalization.

Disclosures: Agrawal: yMabs Therapeutics: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Other: Scientific Advisory Board.

*signifies non-member of ASH