Objective: To evaluate the impact of an initiative to increase hydroxyurea use among children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) who presented to the emergency department (ED). Study design: This observational cohort study included children with SCA not taking hydroxyurea who presented to the ED with pain or acute chest syndrome and then attended a Quick-Start Hydroxyurea Initiation Project (Q-SHIP) session. A Q-SHIP session includes a hematologist-led discussion on hydroxyurea, a video of patients talking about hydroxyurea, and a direct offer to start hydroxyurea. Results: Over 64 weeks, 112 eligible patients presented to the ED and 59% (n = 66) participated in a Q-SHIP session a median of 6 days (IQR 2, 20 days) after ED or hospital discharge; 55% of participants (n = 36) started hydroxyurea. After a median follow-up of 49 weeks, 83% (n = 30) of these participants continued hydroxyurea. Laboratory markers of hydroxyurea adherence were significantly increased from baseline: median mean corpuscular volume +8.6 fL (IQR 5.0, 17.7, P <.0001) and median hemoglobin F +5.7% (IQR 2.5, 9.8, P =.0001). Comparing Q-SHIP participants to nonparticipants, 12 weeks after ED visit, participants were more likely to have started hydroxyurea than nonparticipants (53% vs 20%, P =.0004) and to be taking hydroxyurea at last follow-up (50% vs 20%, P =.001). Two years after the implementation of Q-SHIP the overall proportion of eligible patients on hydroxyurea presenting to our ED increased from 56% to 80%, P =.0069. Conclusions: Participation in a clinic to specifically address starting hydroxyurea after a SCA complication increases hydroxyurea use.
- patient education
- sickle cell disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health