Right now, there aren’t any in Sarasota or Bradenton that has a sickle cell pain management clinic or program. However, if you live in Sarasota, I personally recommend going to Doctors Hospital or Lakewood Ranch. Because, the wait times at Sarasota Memorial are way too long. My daughter sat in the waiting room for 2 hours in pain at Sarasota Memorial. They were telling me it’s because she needed to see a doctor and not just rushed back to urgent care where there is no doctor.
We recently needed to go back to the ER, but I chose to visit Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. The wait time was less than 10 mins and everything that needed to be done for her was done in a timely manner and she wasn’t in any pain this time. The triage nurse wasn’t familiar with sickle cell, which I could tell by the questions he was asking. However, the nurse assigned to my daughter was familiar and the pediatric doctor was as well. We arrived at 1:00pm and left around 5:30pm. Blood was taken, results were received, the hematologist in St.Pete was called, IV inserted, fluids received and it all was done in 4 and a half hours. (UPDATE 07/03/2016) I found out in November of 2015 that Lakewood Medical Center no longer has a pediatrics department, so taking kids there for serious medical conditions may end up having you wait for hours for EMT to come transfer them to another hospital.
I’ve never been to Doctors Hospital for any sickle cell related issues. However,their wait time is usually less than 30 mins in the ER and on their website they have information regarding managing sickle cell. So, I could only ASSUME that they have some knowledge about sickle cell. I would personally would chose it over Sarasota Memorial.
Sarasota Memorial is where my daughter received her first blood transfusion back in 2001. At that time I was an advocate for Sarasota Memorial. We never had to wait in the ER.. we were always taken to a room or pre-admitted if the doctor called before we arrived. Now, all of that is out the window due to changes of the hospitals structure. However, they are very knowledgeable about sickle cell, so if it is something serious that needs more than a “quick fix” I would probably go there first. I say this now since I have never been to Doctors hospital for any sickle cell related issues.
Stay away from Manatee Memorial!!! The doctors there are horrible and condescending. He blamed my daughters insurance carrier as to why they couldn’t figure out how to treat her. We had to demand to be released to All Children’s. This was in 2001. That was the first and last time I ever been to that hospital.