Danville hospital earns pediatric ER certification

Published 7:38 pm Wednesday, September 18, 2019



Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center’s emergency department is now certified as a Pediatric Ready Emergency Department.

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Morgan Scaggs, project director for Emergency Medical Services for Children, presented hospital officials and staff with the official certification Monday morning. The Danville hospital is the fourth hospital in Kentucky to receive the certification, and is only the second facility in the state that is a non-children’s hospital, Scaggs said.

To earn this recognition, the emergency department had to meet specific criteria set by the Kentucky Pediatric Emergency Care Coalition, in compliance with national recommendations and guidelines, according to a hospital news release.

Scaggs said 87% of emergency pediatric care happens in community hospitals. “It’s really critical that they be prepared.”

Voluntarily pursuing the pediatric emergency readiness certification shows the hospital is committed “to the children in this community. … This helps this hospital be better prepared to take care of them. It may mean they can provide all the care the child needs and they can be released back home. Or it may mean that it’s a stabilization and then transfer to a higher level of care,” Scaggs said. “This process helps make that process go smoother and faster.”

“Children are small, they’re portable. … Parents have a tendency to take the children to the closest hospital. When your child is sick or hurt, you don’t drive past that big, red emergency sign.”

“There is an expectation that you’re going to get the help you need there,” she said.

Last year, EMRMC emergency department treated about 3,800 children. “We see a lot of (pediatric patients),” said Katie Jo Aaron, general trauma program manager and pediatric emergency care coordinator for the hospital.

“It’s important to be recognized that we’re pediatric ready, that we can take care of all patients of all ages. The certification shows how good we are,” Aaron said.