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TODAY news for Thursday, September 24, 2004

Loma Linda University Children's Hospital news

Riverside Community Health Foundation grant helps LLUCH

A group of people standing around a hospital bed with a small girl on it.
Members of the Riverside Community Foundation receive a demonstration of the new portable imaging equipment from Lance Brown, MD (second from right, with daughter Madison), MPH, chief, division of pediatric emergency medicine. At the demonstration are (from left) John M. Sigaty, CPA, chief financial officer; Tim Evans, MDiv, development manager; Roger Ridley, JD, chair, board of directors; Dan Anderson, DMin, vice president, programs and services; Mark Williams, MA, MDiv, president and CEO. Seated are Danielle Anderson (left), community outreach assistant; and Ninfa Delgado, director of community outreach.
A $70,000 grant from the Riverside Community Health Foundation has enabled Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital to obtain a portable ultrasound and fluoroscopy equipment that will allow the pediatric emergency department to more rapidly diagnose both bone and soft tissues injuries.

“This new equipment enables our staff to enhance patient care and comfort while at the same reducing treatment time and expense,” says Lance Brown, MD, MPH, chief, division of pediatric emergency medicine at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. It will quickly provide information that is essential to saving a child’s life in an emergency.

The portable fluroscope enables emergency department physicians to diagnose and treat pediatric patients quickly without waiting for imaging services. “Broken bones can be viewed and set at bedside,” Dr. Brown notes. “The fluoroscope also can assist in evaluating treatment as the bone heals.”

Fluoroscopy is a technique for obtaining x-ray images that may be simultaneously viewed on a television monitor. The small, portable fluoroscope provides images of bones with the safest, simplest, and least traumatic technology.

“A new generation of ultrasound equipment is now small enough to carry in one hand,” Dr. Brown says, “making it easily portable from one bedside to another to diagnose soft tissue injuries.”

Portable ultrasound technology offers several advantages in treating pediatric patients:

  • Children who are sick or have been injured are often fearful of treatment. A small portable machine is far less intimidating than an older machine that is often much larger than the child.

  • Ultrasound technology assists physicians with IV placement in critically ill children, reducing the risks, time, and pain associated with placement of central IV lines in children with difficult veins.

  • Images can reveal abnormal fluid concentrations at an injury site, expediting decisions regarding initial care in the department.

  • During crucial resuscitation, ultrasound available at the bedside may provide images of the heart in a matter of seconds, aiding determination of the most appropriate steps in resuscitation.

The pediatric emergency department staff anticipates more rapid IV line insertion in children and decrease in overall time spent by the child in the emergency department.

This equipment is also expected to decrease evaluation and diagnostic time. Approximately 25 to 30 percent of patients visiting the Children’s Hospital emergency department, or 5,000 to 6,000 children annually, could potentially benefit from the ultrasound and fluoroscopy equipment.

Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital is the only children’s hospital dedicated to the care of the 1.2 million children residing in San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo, and Mono counties.

The pediatric emergency department at Children’s Hospital serves children of all ages with varying degrees of illnesses and injuries. Nearly 20,000 children visit the 18-bed unit each year.

Conditions requiring an emergency department visit may include sudden illness, broken bones, lacerations, burns, allergic reaction, and animal bits.

Seventeen percent of patient who visit the Children’s Hospital pediatric emergency department require hospitalization due to severe illness or injury.

TODAY news for Thursday, September 24, 2004