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Straight Talk
A weekly update from management on the issues that matter most.

Apr 6, 2017
Two recent heart-warming and stirring stories of great care and clinical acumen make the point of always open, close to home, the motto of our Robert, Mariann, and Megan MacDonald Pediatric Emergency Room and 24-bed Pediatric Unit. The pediatric RN mom of a four-year-old shared the following:

My son had a routine tonsillectomy and associated procedures at NCH.  He was understandably very nervous as we walked into the hospital, but the pre-op nurses did such a wonderful job of comforting him that his anxiety was quickly eased.  In the recovery room, we had an awesome nurse named Carrie Davis.  She knew I was a nurse and treated me with a great deal of professional courtesy while still being very attentive. 

That evening my son started spitting bright red blood and as a pediatric nurse, I knew that he needed to be brought into the ER immediately.  Upon arrival to the pediatric ER, RNs Diana Fleming and Amanda Simmons brought my son right back to a room where Dr. Jose Puell was already waiting to assess him and start treatment.  Peds Intensivist Dr. Debra Lopez arrived moments later and on-call ENT, Dr. Robert Klausner, was consulted.  My son seemed to perk up and was asking to watch a movie—readily available in all our Peds ER rooms. 

Unfortunately, his condition worsened as the bleeding continued.  Dianna and Amanda were very knowledgeable and jumped right in by starting the much-needed blood transfusion and ultimately safely transferred him to the OR.  They even came to the surgical waiting room to make sure my husband and I were OK.  Dr. Klausner was very informative and honest.  He was truly amazing and played a huge role in saving my child’s life.  The anesthesia team and the OR nurses were very supportive of me and my husband while still paying close attention to my son.  Dr. Lopez was with our child from the ER, to the OR, and then on to the pediatric floor.  She was amazing in so many ways, and my family could not have been more grateful to feel like my son was in great hands. 

We were then transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit where RN Marolyn Heatwole was waiting for us.  Seeing Marolyn made me feel like I could finally take a breath.  RN Jenna Randall, our day shift nurse, was truly amazing helping our son recover.  Jenna was very attentive and patient even when our son started to get crabby.  Finally, RN Anna Zappasodi was very kind doing all she could do to get our recovering guy to smile.  Everyone made us comfortable and confident our son was going to be OK.

Furthermore, I need to say something I have always known, but have never had to experience first-hand.  The families and children in Collier County are so lucky to be treated and cared for by the most intelligent, hardworking, and passionate pediatric nurses and doctors.  And I know just how lucky I am to be able to work side by side with them each week.

The second story of clinical acumen is about pediatric ER Dr. Ryan Bartruff who made the great diagnostic pick-up of reversible acute cardiomyopathy (heart muscle weakness caused by a virus) in a nine-year-old complaining of “episodes” which were either near syncope (fainting) or seizures.  Fortuitously, after a short time in the Peds ER, his mom observed an episode starting and called the care team into the room to observe.  The child’s pulse dropped, he nearly passed out, and then he was successfully resuscitated—ultimately being referred for inpatient cardiology care.  Now he is back to normal after a life-saving experience.  Again making the point, always open, close to home. 

Helping everyone live a longer, happier, and healthier life starts with our 80,000+ eighteen-and-under next generation.  We are all grateful to have robust pediatric care in Collier County.

Allen Weiss, MD

President and CEO

You may contact Dr. Allen Weiss and The NCH Healthcare System by clicking here.