Children with Sickle Cell Anemia and Orthopaedic Problems

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Among the many unique challenges facing orthopaedic nursing is the care of children with sickle cell disease. Whether the condition that initiates the contact is related to the sickle cell disease or is incidental to it, nurses need a basic understanding of the disease process to adequately help these patients reach healthier outcomes. Sickle cell disease is an autosomal recessive inherited condition seen primarily in the African-American population. Orthopaedic nursing care for these patients must incorporate multisystem, developmentally appropriate assessments and interventions. Pain control, hydration, establishment of trust, and support of individual and family coping all play vital roles in insuring a rapid recovery and a reduction in longterm complications.

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