Whether dealing with a fever in the middle of the night or a fall from playground equipment at school, it’s often hard for parents to determine the true severity of an illness or injury. That’s why they turn to the UC Davis Children’s Hospital and its companion programs at the UC Davis Medical Center.
The Center is unique with its Level 1 adult and pediatric trauma care for more than 33 of California’s 58 counties, comprising the Central Valley’s only Level 1 trauma center—the highest designation possible. Its dedicated pediatric emergency department features a separate waiting area for children and families staffed by expert physicians and nurses specially trained in pediatric emergency medicine. They understand the subtle nuances of caring for critically ill or injured children.
The Center recently expanded with the opening of a world-class emergency room facility, the Surgery and Emergency Services Pavilion. It features increased bed capacity, enhanced technology, and a pediatric pod dedicated exclusively for the care of young patients. Its leading-edge monitoring capabilities, specialized pediatric airway equipment, and related devices make its pediatric emergency care area unique in the Sacramento region.
“We’ve always offered exceptional, specialized pediatric emergency care equal to that of any children’s hospital,” says pediatric emergency physician Cheryl Vance. “With the recent opening of the Pavilion, the UC Davis Medical Center’s pediatric emergency program can serve even more pediatric emergency patients with elevated attention to the personal care, comfort, and well-being of each patient and family.”
Nathan Kuppermann, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine and a board-certified pediatric emergency medicine physician, explains, “When planning the creation of the Pavilion, we carefully considered how best to deliver outstanding quality of care to children and their families in the most comfortable, personal, and safe environment.”
The program’s physicians are fellowship-trained in pediatric emergency, which is a specialty of both pediatrics and emergency medicine. Pediatric emergency physicians are highly adept at the fine distinctions in medication dosing and drug types for children. They readily recognize diseases specific to children, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis, croup, and appendicitis.
As part of an academic health center, research conducted at UC Davis sets new standards for pediatric emergency care worldwide. UC Davis experts have developed new indications for imaging children after head trauma, evaluations for young children at risk for meningitis, and assessments for the risks for cerebral edema in children with diabetic ketoacidosis.
The pediatric emergency physicians, nurses, and other clinicians at UC Davis Children’s Hospital and Medical Center form a “crisis team,” collaborating seamlessly with social workers and other professionals as cases warrant.
Kuppermann and Vance two of the key members of the pediatric emergency services team. A UC Davis professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics, Kuppermann researches such infectious disease emergencies in children as bacteremia, bronchiolitis, and meningococcemia, as well as management of pediatric trauma and diabetic ketoacidosis in children.
Vance, a professor of emergency medicine, is board-certified in pediatric emergency medicine. She specializes in the care of pediatric, medical and trauma cases, including asthma, seizures, resuscitation, and blunt abdominal, cervical spine, and head injuries.