PLANS have been announced to give sickle cell patients at Bahrain's main hospital stickers to help fast-track their treatment.
They will feature a High Risk Patient (HRP) Code to alert doctors and nurses that the cases must be given top priority.
"This initiative is according to the World Health Organisation standards for critical patients," said hospital affairs assistant under-secretary Dr Ameen Al Saati.
"At the moment, we will issue HRP code only for sickle cell patients depending on their health condition.
"In the later phase, stickers will be issued for patients suffering from cardio-vascular diseases and diabetes."
The sticker will be issued when the patient registers at the Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) Accident and Emergency department.
Dr Al Saati said a sickle cell patient would fall in the HRP category if his or her visit to SMC had exceeded five times in a month or if they had previously been admitted to the hospital for 30 days.
Other details included on the sticker will be the date the patient last visited the Accident and Emergency department, their medical record number, Accident and Emergency number and time of arrival.
They are set to be introduced to health professionals to make them familiar with the process in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Dr Al Saati revealed the SMC's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) will be expanded by adding 22 beds.
He said they were also on the look out for senior resident doctors and health professionals to cope with increasing pressure on health services.
In the last 10 months, at least eight of the 28 sickle cell deaths have been blamed on negligence by staff and doctors as well as beds shortage.
The ministry announced last month that work on a new 90-bed haematology centre at the SMC had begun.
The BD2.5 million, four-storey facility will treat all patients with blood diseases but will be of particular help for those suffering from sickle cell disease, according to the ministry.
The new building, which will house an accident and emergency department, an out patient department and a ward each for children, men and women, will be ready by mid-2012. firstname.lastname@example.org