Return visit rates after an emergency department discharge for children with sickle cell pain episodes

Keli D. Coleman*, Kenneth McKinley, Angela M. Ellison, Elizabeth R. Alpern, Selena Hariharan, Irina Topoz, Morgan Wurtz, Blake Nielsen, Lawrence J. Cook, Claudia R. Morris, Amanda M. Brandow, Andrew D. Campbell, Robert I. Liem, Rachelle Nuss, Charles T. Quinn, Alexis A Thompson, Anthony Villella, Allison A. King, Ana Baumann, Warren FrankenbergerDavid C. Brousseau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: High return visit rates after hospitalization for people with sickle cell disease (SCD) have been previously established. Due to a lack of multicenter emergency department (ED) return visit rate data, the return visit rate following ED discharge for pediatric SCD pain treatment is currently unknown. Procedure: A seven-site retrospective cohort study of discharged ED visits for pain by children with SCD was conducted using the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network Registry. Visits between January 2017 and November 2021 were identified using previously validated criteria. The primary outcome was the 14-day return visit rate, with 3- and 7-day rates also calculated. Modified Poisson regression was used to analyze associations for age, sex, initial hospitalization rate, and a visit during the COVID-19 pandemic with return visit rates. Results: Of 2548 eligible ED visits, approximately 52% were patients less than 12 years old, 50% were female, and over 95% were non-Hispanic Black. The overall 14-day return visit rate was 29.1% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 27.4%–30.9%; site range 22.7%–31.7%); the 7- and 3-day return visit rates were 23.0% (95% CI: 21.3%–24.6%) and 16.7% (95% CI: 15.3%–18.2%), respectively. Younger children had slightly lower 14-day return visit rates (27.3% vs. 31.1%); there were no associations for site hospitalization rate, sex, and a visit occurring during the pandemic with 14-day returns. Conclusion: Nearly 30% of ED discharged visits after SCD pain treatment had a return visit within 14 days. Increased efforts are needed to identify causes for high ED return visit rates and ensure optimal ED and post-ED care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere30553
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • children
  • emergency department
  • pain
  • sickle cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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