Acute clinical events in patients with sickle cell disease: epidemiology and treatment

Eventos agudos em doença falciforme: epidemiologia e tratamento

Sickle cell disease is a hereditary illness of high prevalence in black population, and involved patients frequently have multiple hospitalizations. Our objective was to describe and to analyze the clinical course of hospitalizations in patients with sickle cell disease. Cross-sectional study of 78 patients submitted to 230 hospital admissions due to acute complications of sickle cell disease, from 2000 to 2004 in a public teaching hospital in Rio de Janeiro city, RJ, Brazil. Outcomes variables were length of hospital stay and death. Main covariables were age, gender, chronic renal failure, causes of hospitalization and use of medicines. Proportions were compared using the chi-square or the Fischer test, and for the continuous variables, Mann-Whitney test was used. The median age in years was 20.3 (15-53) and the most frequent clinical event was acute painful episode (73.5%). Mean length of stay was significantly higher in admissions caused by different reasons than acute painful episode (p < 0.001), in those with chronic renal failure (p = 0.006) or with bacterial infection (p = 0.002). The number of deaths was higher in admissions with bacterial infection (p = 0.049) or chronic renal failure (p = 0.014). Gram-negative bacteria isolated from febrile patients included Pseudomonas sp and Acinetobacter sp. This study allowed a larger knowledge concerning morbidity and mortality among adolescent and adult patients hospitalized with sickle cell disease. As few studies with data from hospital admissions are avaiable, the findings can be useful in public health area, especially on healthcare planning to the population with sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell anemia; epidemiology; hospitalizations; treatment


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