Having five kids has assured me many visits to the ER from stitches, midnight high fevers and when my two year old swallowed a battery. As a mother of four boys, I fear this list will only get longer. This is why when asked to attend the media coverage of CHOC’s Trauma Center, I didn’t hesitate. CHOC has been a consistent leader in our community for children’s health and well-being. They can now also boast with having the ONLY Pediatric Trauma Center in the country!
What is considered a Trauma?
As parents we might not necessarily know when to take our child to ER or trauma center. As Amy Waunch, the trauma program manager, told us “we are not expected to know.” A physical trauma is ” a blunt or penetrating injury that needs immediate medical treatment for survival.” I was shocked to learn that 40% of cases treated at CHOC Trauma Center are from kids falling, more specifically out of windows. A great preventative tip is to place beds/furniture away from windows. Trauma cases are also motor vehicle crashes and bicycle accidents. As we know helmets save lives, but sometimes we just put them on without buckling it. Let’s make sure to not just buckle up in the car, but also while wearing helmets.
What is special about CHOC Pediatric Trauma Center
As a blogger and as a patient, what puts CHOC above others are their people. Yes, they have so many technologically advanced equipment. For example, knowing that all their equipment is suited for a child’s size and needs. Their Video Glide Scope for checking the patients airways. An awesome Rapid Blood Transfusion machine which does the transfusion in 30 seconds. A bedside X-Ray machine that comes in quickly and efficiently (because trauma time is precious). All of these machines alone are a reason to ask for your child to be taken to CHOC Trauma Center. But their nursing staff and life specialist are the essence of what makes them unique. I can attest that my three year old, while getting stitches, did not cry or complain all thanks to his Life Specialist. She made sure to distract him and helped me keep calm during the procedure. I have never experienced better bedside care and attention than at CHOC.
Since opening in January, CHOC Trauma Center has seen one hundred and sixty five trauma patients. They know the number will easily double once word spreads of what they have to offer in trauma care. They have pediatric specialists such as anesthesia, cardiothoracic surgery, craniofacial and plastic surgery 24 hours a day. A great thing about CHOC is that no child is ever rejected because of lack of insurance. They will assist families in covering the cost. A hospital like this is hard to find and we are blessed to have one in Orange County. Though I would never wish to be in the position to use their services, it is a comfort to know they are so close to home. Let’s make sure to spread the word!