Although this article is about a decade overdue, I am glad that there is now documented empirical knowledge that sickle cell patients are in pain almost every single day!
In eight states studied, researchers found that one-third of sickle cell patients who visited the hospital returned within 30 days in search of pain relief. Young people, between the ages of 18 and 30, were especially likely to seek care.
“I think it’s not so much a failure of the hospital itself, but a failure of us being able to prevent these complications and being able to treat them,” said Dr. George R. Buchanan, a pediatrics professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, who is familiar with the study findings.
Personally, and I’m sure most sickle cell warriors can attest to this, I return to the hospital because I AM STILL IN PAIN! If I wasn’t hurting, I would never want to step foot in the ER. So it is a failure on the part of the health-care providers because they are so quick to discharge SC patients from the ER after the requisite 3 doses without proper medication to take at home. All they say is “Visit your Primary care doctor” but I can’t go to the PCP because I am in pain. So I end up at home, getting sicker and sicker until eventually someone calls the ambulance or drags me back in the hospital. Even when admitted, doctors tend to discharge us before the pain is even resolved on a moderate level.
Anyway, it is a step in the right direction. This article was published in the mainstream U.S. News &World Report. Hopefully doctors will learn from this.