Health & Fitness
Is Your Baby At Risk in the ER?
God forbid, you have a medical emergency with your baby and you go to the ER, desperate for help. Only to realize that most hospital emergency rooms are not equipped with pediatric emergency equipment and doctors.
That's the story of Phyllis Rabinowitz, whose daughter Rebecca died at just 8 days old after she was misdiagnosed at the hospital ER. Baby Rebecca was sent home repeatedly and her parents were told that she simply had a cold when in fact, she was suffering from a life threatening enteroviral infection. If the ER was properly equipped to diagnose baby Rebecca, she would still be with us today.
Phyllis has turned her tragic loss into her life's mission to make sure all ERs are prepared for children instead of treating them like mini-adults. The RBaby Foundation works to help hospitals improve their pediatric care services while educating parents that all emergency departments are not prepared for pediatric emergencies.
One in five children will make one or more visits to an ED each year according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Yet there is no standard definition for what makes a Pediatric Emergency Department, so even a recognized PED can vary in equipment, supplies, services and specialists.
As a mother who has been in the emergency room with my young children, it's very scary to think that the hospital may not be ready to properly care for my child. We don't need any more babies to die.
Phyllis and the RBaby Foundation share these important tips for all moms, especially mothers of newborns:
1. Ask your pediatrician before an emergency occurs what their local ED recommendations are in the event of an emergency.
2. Research your local emergency department.
3. Have your child's medical history and records accessible
4. Know where the closes pediatric emergency department or children's hospital is.
More importantly, I recently signed the RBaby petition to help improve pediatric emergency care for all babies. I hope you will too.