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Richard Cantor MD with a patient. 5 improvements for pediatric emergencies
The center is open evenings and weekends. Its colorful furnishings are based on the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. There are lots of comfortable chairs, and a big TV, a fish tank and fun-house style mirrors that provide entertainment.
Nights & weekends: here for sick, injured kids BY SUSAN KEETER
hese are situations familiar to any parent: the pediatrician’s office is closed, and your child has an ear ache, or a fever, or a nasty cut from a playground accident. You don’t think a trip to the emergency room is warranted, but your child needs to be seen by a doctor...and you can’t wait until morning.
The center is staffed by nine pediatricians, including McCrone, and two emergency medicine physicians. All are on the faculty at Upstate Medical University. Olamide Ajagbe MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, divides her time between working at the After Hours Care center, caring for patients in the children’s hospital, and teaching medical students and residents. She arrived at Upstate in 2011 after completing pediatric residencies at both the Nassau County Medical Center and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “I interviewed at many medical centers,”
Knowing changes everything.SM
● “Family care” is a recognition that the child is not the only patient, that often a sibling and parents are also present. Child life specialists – made possible through donations from the Children’s Miracle Network – now staff the department to assist families. ● Wait times have decreased. Average time from walking through the door to meeting a triage nurse is 14 minutes; from triage to room placement is about 35 minutes; and from room placement to health care provider entering the room is 12 minutes.
Upstate came up with a solution, and last February opened Upstate Golisano After Hours Care, the first of its type in the area. Located on the Community Campus, the After Hours Care center sees an average of 430 patients per month, and 2,893 children and teens were treated in the first six months. “It fills the gap between the pediatrician’s office and the emergency room,” explains Alison McCrone MD, medical director. “After Hours is for minor illnesses and injuries. We have lab and x-ray services, and can offer a 24-hour supply of prescriptions so parents can take their child home instead of running to a pharmacy.”
f you haven’t been to the emergency department with an ill or injured child lately, you may not realize how things are changing. Here’s a run-down from Upstate’s Richard Cantor MD, director of the Pediatric Emergency Department:
Olamide Ajagbe MD with Mia, 5, who was at Upstate’s Golisano After Hours Care because her “ear hurted.” Ajagbe explains. “Upstate had amazing, warm and welcoming people on its staff. “I am astounded by the need for after hours care in this community,” she continues. “Over and over, parents tell me how glad they are that this kind of service is available. It’s great working here.” The center sees patients from birth through age 21, so the staff see college students as well as toddlers. This winter, they expect to treat lots of patients for respiratory infections, fevers, and injuries from sledding accidents and other sports. ●
Golisano After Hours Care is located at Upstate University Hospital’s Community Campus, 4900 Broad Rd., Syracuse (between the emergency room and the parking garage). Phone 315-492-KIDS (5437). Hours are Monday through Friday, 4 to 11 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 11 p.m. Most insurances are accepted, all patients up to age 21 are welcome.
● Pain management is an important part of care now. Children are sedated before uncomfortable procedures, often by inhalation of medication rather than a needle injection. “The days of children crying in emergency departments are over,” Cantor says. ● A weight-based medication delivery system means a computer generates a child’s exact dosage, based on size, reducing medication errors. ● To help reduce exposure to radiation, Upstate participated in a national study to help determine which children with head injuries need CT scans and which don’t. Doctors also rely more on sonography for help quickly diagnosing children with, for instance, belly pain. Cantor says imaging that does not use radiation “is less expensive, less time consuming and less harmful to the child.”
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