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Sickle cell patients should be better monitored for constipation prevention
Date:6/16/2010

titutional, geographically diverse database to collect information on pediatric inpatients with sickle cell disease who received a narcotic medication during a 12-month period. They then investigated which of these patients received medications used to prevent and treat constipation during their hospitalization.

The study showed that one-third of sickle cell disease patients receiving narcotics were not prescribed concomitant laxatives or stool softeners as recommended by the Child Health Corporation of America quality improvement collaborative.

"We also discovered unexpected variability in the use of constipation medication," said Dr. O'Brien, also an assistant professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. "While one would expect a diagnosis of constipation and increased length of stay to impact the use of laxatives, we also discovered that unrelated variables such as patient age, type of admission and hospital sickle cell disease patient volumes were associated with constipation medication use."

Older children were more likely to receive laxatives. Dr. O'Brien says that perhaps this is because they are better able to articulate symptoms of constipation. Patients with medical admissions were four times more likely to receive laxatives than patients with primarily surgical admission.

"Our findings demonstrate that increased attention needs to be paid to constipation prophylaxis in sickle cell patients, particularly in younger children and surgical admissions," said Dr. O'Brien.


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Contact: Mary Ellen Peacock
MaryEllen.Peacock@NationwideChildrens.org
614-355-0495
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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