Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Pediatrics, Parenting

A Guide for Families of Children with Sickle Cell Anemia at American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) (7267)

A Guide for Families of Children with Sickle Cell Anemia at American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) (7267) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Pediatrics, Parenting


A Guide for Families of Children with Sickle Cell Anemia at
American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH)

What can I expect while my child is
at AFCH?
The healthcare team rounds at your child’s
bedside each day to talk about his health and
plan of care. You know your child best and
we would like to know what you think as
part of these rounds. The team talks about
these goals that need to be met before your
child can go home.
ξ Pain is under control with oral
ξ Drinking enough fluids to stay
ξ Having normal bowel movements.

We want your child to stick to home
routines for sleeping, eating, and bathing
while at AFCH. Let us know how we can
help maintain his home schedule. We want
your child to be able to get out of bed to
walk and play. Gentle play may help with
joint swelling, decrease pain, and increase
deep breathing. Once your child’s pain is
under control, it is important for your child
to attend the hospital school as well as
participate in therapies, such as PT/OT.

Dealing with Pain
Our goal is to help your child have as little
pain as possible. We will teach your child
how to use a pain scale to help us assess his
pain. You, your child, and your nurse will
decide which scale to use while at AFCH.
We use your child’s pain ratings to help us
decide how to treat his pain. You may find
this scale is also helpful to you in treating
your child’s pain at home.

How will my child’s pain be
We use a couple types of medicines to treat
your child’s pain. Medications can either be
given by mouth or through an IV. There are
different medications that can be taken by
mouth; these can either be short or long
acting medications. Your child will also get
ketorolac. This is an IV anti-inflammatory
medicine that helps relieve pain. A patient
controlled analgesia (PCA) pump contains
an opioid. It is the best means of keeping
him comfortable. This machine can be set
to give a steady dose of intravenous (IV)
medicine. It can also be set so that your
child can push a button to get more pain
medicine. This is a helpful way to treat very
severe sickle cell pain.
If your child is getting opioid pain medicine,
he may have side effects. Many children get
sleepy when receiving opioid pain
medications. Please let your child’s nurse
know if you feel he is too sleepy.

One of the more common side effects is
itching. Please tell your nurse if your child
has discomfort due to itching. He may need
to change to a different opioid or need other
medicines to treat the itching.

Opioid pain medicines can cause
constipation. This is a list of ideas to
prevent constipation.
ξ Take a stool softener or laxative
ξ Drink fluids
ξ Stay active

Please report your child’s bowel movements
to your nurse and let the health team know if
it has been more than three days since he has
last had a bowel movement.

Some children have breathing problems
related to sickle cell anemia. Your health
care team may teach your child to do these
breathing exercises to prevent or treat these

ξ Blowing bubbles
ξ Using an incentive spirometer
ξ Walking

If your child has breathing problems,
antibiotics or oxygen therapy may be
needed. The medical team will discuss this
with you.

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 11/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. Madison WI. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7267