UMEM Educational Pearls

  • Significant morbidity and mortality has been consistently documented in pediatric sickle cell patients due to overwhelming sepsis from encapsulated organisms, especially S. pneumoniae
  • All pediatric sickle cell patients presenting with fevers greater than 101.5F (38.6C) should receive antibiotics within 60 minutes of triage.
  • Historically, and still in many pediatric sickle cell centers, ceftriaxone (75mg/kg/dose) is administered
  • However, reported cases of deadly intravascular hemolysis in pediatric sickle cell patients whom had recieved multiple doses of ceftriaxone has led to new recommendations for antibiotic coverage to include cefuroxime (200mg/kg/day) or ampicillin/sulbactam (200mg/kg/day)


Wang CJ, et al. Quality-of-care indicators for children with sickle cell disease. Pediatrics. 2011;128:484.

Berini JC, et al. Fatal hemolysis induced by Ceftriaxone in a child with sickle cell anemia. 1995;126:813.