Team considers praise from 6-year-old Teddy the highest honor
Minutes seem like hours when your child is hurting. Rebecca Warner of Champaign said, “It’s true” about when six-year-old Teddy fractured and dislocated his elbow playing at the YMCA.
“All he could focus on was the pain. He kept grabbing his elbow. It seemed like it took some time to get it under control. Every minute feels like an hour, though,” she said.
Within five minutes of arriving at the Carle Emergency Department by ambulance, Teddy took Tylenol. Nurses gave him morphine a half-hour later when his pain didn’t subside.
“Pediatric emergencies can be challenging because our smallest patients need specialized equipment and supplies or specific medication dosage adjusted for their weight,” Jen Doege, RN, emergency department pediatric coordinator, said.
Carle’s emergency department recertified as an Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics (EDAP) because of its strength in caring for and meeting the unique needs of young patients, like Teddy.
Trying to keep a child still and focused can be tricky on the best days, but Teddy was in pain. He also suffers from the speech disorder apraxia, which makes him hard to understand, especially in stressful times.
Warner said staff sensed her anxiety and provided information to relax her and encourage Teddy.
“An amazing team descended on Teddy to get x-rays. The entire care team made every effort to connect with Teddy, especially Child Life and Mark Palermo, DO,” she said.
Child Life helps make the hospital less scary for children. Teddy remembers quite a bit about his visit but mostly the nice people.
"I remember I was riding in an ambulance and my arm hurt really bad. At the hospital, I remember Dr. Palermo. He talked to me in a nice way. I think I did some x-rays,” Teddy said. “Medicine! It helped! You have to get some pokes, but it's not that bad, not for me."
Ask Teddy if he’s scared to go to the ED now.
"No! It's pretty good," he said.
High praise from a six-year-old echoed by the Illinois Department of Public Health who recertified Carle’s Emergency Department after testing the team’s readiness and capabilities to provide care for pediatric patients.
“Sometimes we help kiddos like Teddy get on the mend quickly,” Doege said. “Other times it’s more advanced injuries from traumas, car accidents, ATV injuries and accidental poisonings.”
Teddy is completely therapy free today and with his once "broken" arm, he especially likes doing yard work with his red wheelbarrow, "driving" his Grandpa's tractor and riding his bike.
“Sometimes I use my left arm to write because it needs to exercise,” said right-handed Teddy.
Doege said, in Illinois, almost 19 percent of visits to the ED are children ages 0-15 so having extra steps and processes in place to serve them is important for the community.
“Although a visit can originate in the ED, caring for pediatric patients carries through the entire organization. The expectation is the same throughout – give the best care for every kiddo, every time,” Doege said.
From the moment they walk in the door until they arrive home, a quality teams surrounds and supports children and parents focusing on the best outcome. An all hands on deck approach to care includes Emergency Management, Critical Care Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Pediatrics, Newborn, Obstetrics, Quality, and Carle Direct.
“Teddy was a trooper. He’s passed all his check-ups with flying colors,” Warner said.