Frequently Asked Questions

Are you accepting new patients?
Yes, we are accepting new patients with most third party payors.

I am delivering at Woman’s Hospital. How do I notify the hospital that I have chosen Fertile Crescent Pediatrics & Dr. Despinasse as my pediatrician?
Your obstetrician will give you paperwork to fill out for the hospital delivery. This paperwork will ask you to designate your pediatrician. You can enter Brian Despinasse II MD and the newborn  hospitalist group (Infomedics) will see your baby while hospitalized and you will follow-up with Fertile Crescent Pediatrics upon discharge.

What if I am delivering at a hospital other than Woman’s or Baton Rouge General (Bluebonnet)?
Our pediatricians only see newborns at the Baton Rouge General and Woman’s. If you deliver at another hospital, the on-call pediatrician for that hospital will see your baby.

When does a Fertile Crescent Pediatrics provider see my new baby?
Your newborn baby should be seen in our office 2-4 days after being discharged from the hospital.

What are your doctors’ philosophies?
We adhere to recommendations made by the American Board of Pediatrics as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics and other conservative sources. We do not endorse holistic medicine, herbal remedies or alternative medicine, nor do we deviate from established medical practices. We prefer under-medicating to over-medicating and do not give out antibiotics “to keep your child from getting sick next weekend.”

How do I get an appointment if my child is sick?
Call our appointment line at 225.924.7343; at this time you will see either Dr. Despinasse or his highly qualified Physician Assistant, Daisy Castaneda.

What if my child gets sick after hours?
If there is a genuine, life-threatening medical emergency, call 911. When our office is closed, a medical answering service will take your call. If necessary, you will be forwarded to the on-call triage team. They will dispense medical advice according to rigid medical protocols. Should your child need the attention of one of our physicians, the triage team will immediately contact us and have one of our doctors call you back shortly. In case of a very serious illness or injury, we will refer you to the ER. We recommend taking your child to Baton Rouge General (Bluebonnet) ER or Our Lady of the Lake ER.

What if I have a medical question after hours?
If you experience a medical emergency, call 911. For routine questions, please call our office during business hours.

If you feel your question cannot wait until morning, call our office number. You will be connected with our answering service. The answering service will arrange for you to speak with a pediatric phone advice nurse from Our Lady of the Lake Triage. To do this, you will need to give the answering service a phone number where you can be reached. It may take up to one hour for the Triage nurse to call you. If you feel unable to wait, then you should take your child to the closest pediatric emergency room. The Triage nurses are very well trained to handle after hour emergency calls. If the Triage nurse has any concerns about your child, he/she will arrange thru our answering service to have the call pediatrician paged. It may take up to one hour for the pediatrician to call you back. If you feel unable wait, then you should take your child to the closest pediatric emergency room.

If you have caller ID block on your phone, it MUST be disabled in order to get a return call from the on-call pediatrician. If you do not disable the caller ID block on your phone, you will not be able to speak with the pediatrician. At times, the on-call pediatrician may call you from a number that is not blocked. It is NOT acceptable to call the pediatrician back at that number. If you need to speak with the pediatrician again, call the office number and notify the answering service.

The on-call pediatrician will NOT call in medications. There are NO exceptions. If you feel your child needs a prescription medication after hours, then your child must be seen. We do NOT call in refills of any medications after hours. There are NO exceptions. You must call the office during normal business hours for medication refills.

What are your office hours on holidays?
We are closed Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. We work a limited schedule on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. If Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve falls on a Sunday, we will be closed. We have normal business hours on Martin Luther King Day.

Do you use Physician Assistants/Nurse Practitioners?
We believe that Physician Assistants (PA) and Nurse Practitioners (NP) play a vital role in pediatric medicine. Our NPs have extensive training both in medicine as well as nursing care. You and your child will find .

How do I take a rectal temperature?
Position your baby on his/her back on a changing table. Spread apart your baby’s buttocks with one hand. Use the other hand to grasp the thermometer between you middle and index finger. Gently insert the bulb of the thermometer about 1 inch (2.5 cm) into the rectum or until the tip of the thermometer disappears. Keep a firm grasp on the buttocks by cupping them with the palm and fingers of the hand that is holding the thermometer.

What over-the-counter cold medicines can I give my child?
The FDA has completed a review of information about the safety of over-the-counter cough and cold medications in infants and children younger than two years of age. The FDA is recommending that these drugs NOT be used to treat infants and children younger than two years of age because serious and potentially life-threatening side effects can occur. The FDA has not completed its review of information about the safety of OTC cough and cold medications in children ages 2 to 11 years. We recommend that you call our office during business hours to speak with one of our phone advice nurses if you have any questions about using over-the-counter cough and cold medications in children older than 2 years of age.

Why can’t I get a prescription phoned in when my child is sick?
To ensure the most appropriate medical care, we feel that your child should be examined before prescribing any medication.

Why can’t I get my Ritalin/Adderall phoned in and why do I have to keep coming in for a recheck?
Medicines such as these are strictly controlled substances and the procedures for dispensing them are strictly regulated by the DEA.

Why can’t I get a prescription refilled after hours?
The on-call pediatrician does not have access to your child’s medical record. Thus, he/she cannot refill any medications after hours. Please call during business hours for prescription refills.

Do I need an appointment?
It is highly recommended that you schedule your well child visit as far in advance as possible. However, we do offer same-day sick appointments to those children who are sick and need to be seen on that day. We do not allow “walk-ins.”

I have a hard time getting in on your phone system. Why can’t there be a live operator who will answer my call?
When placing a call to our central phone number, our system gives you essential information and many options to choose from. By allowing you to choose at that point is much better than having you wait 15 minutes on the phone only to have someone tell you that you will have to be transferred. If you prefer not to hold, we have an excellent phone mail system which allows you leave a message and we will call you back.

What labs are done in your office?
We can only run a few selected labs in our office. We are able to perform the following labs in our office: rapid strep test; flu test; urinalysis; lead test; hemoglobin/hematocrit; hemoglobin A1c; lipid panel including glucose, AST and ALT; EKG; and Pulmonary Function Testing.

What if my child needs labs that are not performed in your office? If your child requires additional labs, we will send him/her to an outside lab. Your insurance will dictate where your child can have labs done.

What if my child needs an x-ray?
If your child requires an imaging study, we will send you to an outside facility for it to be performed.

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Keep in touch with your pediatrician

Free Prenatal Checkups

Expect More from Your Pediatrician

Not sure what to do before the baby arrives? Complimentary prenatal checkups make choosing a pediatrician that much easier for expecting moms and dads. Sit down with Dr. Despinasse and get to know the Fertile Crescent Pediatrics staff long ahead of your due date.

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Annual Well Visits

Checkups for Growing Kids

They sure do grow up fast, don’t they? Beginning at two years of age, we recommend annual well visits for every child. These checkups are important to ensure your child continues to meet certain growth and developmental benchmarks, as well as to perform regular health screenings and immunizations.

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