The information provided in this article has been developed to coincide with the recent findings from a National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (2008) report, 'A Sickle Cell Crisis', which calls for nurses to learn more about the disorder in order to better support patients in their care. This article reiterates much of the previous written literature, which has made reference to compromised patient care due to the ongoing unfamiliarity surrounding sickle cell disorders among healthcare professionals in Western societies. Readers will be given an overview of the condition and general clinical guidance on the management of care for patients when they are experiencing a state of'crisis'. Readers should note that the term 'painful episodes' is sometimes used in preference to sickle cell 'crises'.
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