First-rate pediatric emergency care

New Pavilion includes more room for expertise, technology

nurse with hospitalized girl
Families will benefit from a private, family-focused, pediatric waiting area separate from the adult waiting area. An on-site “child life specialist” will offer educational activities to young children and guide and assist families. 

With the opening of the Surgery and Emergency Services Pavilion later this year, UC Davis Medical Center’s pediatric emergency program will further enhance its longstanding record of high quality care and patient satisfaction, and further solidify its distinct services for the unique needs of children younger than 18 years of age.

The pediatric emergency program at the medical center has many features that make it a unique resource in the Sacramento area:

  • A much-improved and enlarged treatment space,
  • Equipment designed specifically for children,
  • A private pediatric waiting area, and
  • Clinicians with specialized training in pediatric emergency medicine capable of treating children with any medical or traumatic emergency.

“We’ve always offered exceptional, specialized pediatric emergency care equal to that of any children’s hospital,” said pediatric emergency physician Cheryl Vance. “Now, with a much-improved space in the Pavilion and state-of-the-art facilities, we’re primed to serve even more pediatric emergency patients with a new, elevated attention to the personal care, comfort and well-being of each patient and family.

"This is a great enhancement that will allow us to expand our reach and serve every pediatric patient that walks through our doors with the greatest possible care and quality.”

Highly recommended

The pediatric emergency program’s overall quality of care consistently receives high marks from patient families. Most of them would recommend UC Davis Medical Center for emergency care, according to recent patient-satisfaction data.

Marielena Ornelas’ 5-year-old son has made several trips to the emergency room and she agrees.

“There can be no greater comfort to parents and families than to know our highly specialized team treats and cares for acutely ill and injured children exclusively." — Cheryl Vance, emergency physician

“The nurses and attending physicians are so supportive,” she said. “They make it easy for us to feel comfortable. I would definitely recommend UC Davis Medical Center’s pediatric emergency program. They listen and they communicate with the patient and the parents.”

Such open and expansive communication leaves Ornelas well-informed about the treatment and care of her son, she added.

Children and families who experience a pediatric emergency find themselves thrust into potentially emotional turmoil. But the new Pavilion’s dedicated pediatric emergency facilities will equip physicians with a superior space to deliver the best pediatric emergency/trauma care available anywhere in the region.

Spacious treatment area

The treatment area devoted exclusively to pediatric trauma will bear the name of Lions Education Foundation District 4-C5 and Lions Clubs International Foundation Pediatric Emergency Room, in recognition of those organizations' $250,000 donation. One of the treatment rooms in this area is named the Walgreens Distribution Center Pediatric Treatment Room, in recognition of a $10,000 donation from the Walgreens Distribution Center in Woodland.

Vance marvels at the future space, specifically referring to a two-thirds increase in bed capacity, enhanced technology and a pediatric “pod” dedicated exclusively for the care of young patients.

“Patients and their families will feel so well-taken-care-of when it comes to their personal care,” Vance said. “It makes a remarkable difference in the way children heal, and how families respond to a crisis.

"With a room, a door and a bed, the private comfortable space creates a greater sense of security, and a greater ability to think through the care options before them.”

Nathan Kuppermann, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, and a board-certified pediatric emergency medicine physician, said, “When planning the creation of our new pediatric emergency department, we carefully considered how best to deliver outstanding quality of care to children and their families, in the most comfortable, personal and safe environment. I think we have achieved that with our new pediatric emergency care area of the Pavilion.”

Private, comfortable waiting

Families will benefit from a private, family-focused, pediatric waiting area designed to accommodate the needs of this special patient population. The on-site presence of a “child life specialist” will offer educational activities to young children, and guide and assist families as they cope with their urgent situation.

Pediatric emergency expertise

hospitalized girl with stuffed bear
The Pavilion includes more private, comfortable space for child patients, creating a greater sense of security.

The emergency pediatric program has a staff of five pediatric emergency physicians who are fellowship-trained in pediatric emergency, which is a specialty of both pediatrics and emergency medicine. This distinction sets apart UC Davis Medical Center further as its pediatric emergency care experts are uniquely trained and prepared to address any pediatric emergency.

Children with any emergency receive the intensive attention they require at UC Davis Medical Center. Specialized equipment is readily available and accessible, such as intravenous tubes for smaller veins, smaller tracheal tubes suitable for intubation of a child, and other appropriately-sized beds and equipment.

Pediatric emergency physicians also are highly adept at the fine distinctions in medication dosing and drug types for children. They also more readily recognize diseases specific to children, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis, croup, and appendicitis. Furthermore, the addition of newer monitoring capabilities, specialized pediatric airway equipment and other devices, make UC Davis Medical Center’s pediatric emergency care area unique in the Sacramento region.

“Children and adults have unique emergency needs and arrive at an emergency room for very different reasons,” Vance said. “There can be no greater comfort to parents and families than to know our highly specialized team treats and cares for acutely ill and injured children exclusively.

"We’ve received highly specialized training in pediatric emergency medicine which empowers the UC Davis Emergency Department with a level of subspecialty expertise unrivaled in our community.”

The pediatric emergency physicians, nurses and other clinicians form a “crisis team,” collaborating seamlessly with social workers and other professionals as cases may warrant. The ensuing, first-rate pediatric emergency care makes an indelible impression on families.

“The care they give is from the heart,” said Marielena Ornelas. “I will always remember them.”