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Dedicated space for pediatric emergency services opens at Geisinger Medical Center

Young patients will have a more positive experience in Geisinger Medical Center’s newly created child-friendly zone for pediatric emergencies, according to a recent press release from Geisinger.

In alignment with the Geisinger values of compassion and kindness, the space is designed to calm and ease the minds of both children and their families, according to the release. The pediatric zone is staffed every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“Children are not little adults,” Sarah Alander, M.D., director of pediatric emergency services, said in the release. “Their illnesses, injury patterns and developmental needs are different than that of adults. In the pediatrics zone everything is focused on the child — from the bright colors and the right-sized equipment to our team’s understanding of a child’s physical and emotional needs.”

The pediatric emergency team diagnoses and treats a wide range of emergencies, including serious infections, surgical emergencies, serious trauma and injuries ranging from lacerations to broken bones.

Staffed by two physicians trained in pediatric emergency medicine, emergency medicine physicians, emergency nurses with pediatric training, respiratory therapists and a child life specialist, the pediatrics zone provides care for children from birth until their 18th birthday.

The pediatric zone also works hand in hand with general pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital.

“The addition of the pediatric zone to our Emergency Medicine Services is an invaluable and a long-awaited addition. The approach to medical care in this pediatric zone is different because the staff is dedicated to knowing children and their psychologies. We are so appreciative of the expertise Dr. Sarah Alander and Dr. Jason Crellin bring to our Children’s Hospital,” said Dr. Frank Maffei, chair of Pediatrics.

The pediatric zone has nine rooms equipped with pediatric-specific technology. Two rooms are designed for using a safe and state-of-the-art approach to sedating children for painful procedures such as setting a broken bone. Child life specialists are available in the zone to provide support and education to both parents and children.

“Our team understands how to talk to children and ease their anxieties,” said Tracey Craddock, child life specialist in the pediatrics zone.

Pediatric emergency care is available 24/7 in the emergency department and via telemedicine to our other Geisinger locations — an effective way to get pediatric patients the care they need without transferring them to a different facility. Additionally, Dr. Jose “Luis” Enriquez and Courtney Clark, PA-C, will soon be joining the team at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, helping to expand pediatric emergency services across Geisinger.

For more information about Geisinger’s pediatric services, visit Geisinger.org/pediatrics-urgent or call 866-595-2441.

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