There’s a new addition at Ascension Sacred Heart! This spring, they expanded their pediatric emergency care facility!!
I am so excited for local parents to have this level of pediatric care right here at home.
When I was potty training our son, I found myself cleaning the bathroom several times a day. Now I don’t mean just the toilet; I’m talking about the walls and floor as well. It never dawned on me to teach him to sit while potty training until almost 15 years later when a friend told me she potty trains her boy by having him sit. What?? Now I tell all of my friend with little boys to do this. It could have made such a difference in our lives.
One day while I was cleaning the urine artwork off of everything in the half bath, I absentmindedly set the open bottle of cleaner on the vanity in reach of our daughter who was in that “reach for everything” stage. She pulled the open bottle of cleaner off the vanity and ended up with chemical burn, chemical pneumonia, was transported by ambulance from Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast to Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola for an overnight observational stay. While I am happy we had the best care and she ended up being fine and released the next day, I wish at that time there would have been a better option instead of going to Pensacola.
And now there is! Recently I was invited to talk with BJ Fontaine, VP of Nursing at Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast about the expansion of pediatric emergency care at the Emerald Coast campus. Parents – this is amazing news!!
In spring of 2020, Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast (ASHEC) expanded their pediatric Level 2 NICU services which includes an observation unit for patients that may need to be admitted but not at the highest level.
What is even more exciting is that in December of 2020, ASHEC expanded their pediatric emergency care, which includes an observation unit, four treatment rooms, plus advanced equipment specially designed for diagnosing and treating pediatric medical emergencies; making the emergency room experience as kid friendly as an emergency room can be.
The observation units will be used for children who may come in with the flu or asthma and need extra observation while getting fluids or breathing treatments. They will also be used in coordination with the new Level 2 NICU for newborns who have no surgical needs or long term support but have yet to meet birth weight, have jaundice or just need a little extra medical observation prior to being discharged. The Level 2 NICU utilizes natural light and is intentionally serene.
Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast sees approximately 4,500 children in the emergency room annually. The pediatric observation unit and the Level 2 NICU allow for more specialized care close to home, enabling fewer children and babies being transferred to Studer Family Children’s Hospital in Pensacola for observation.
If we had this level of pediatric healthcare available during the potty training stage it would have been quite a different scenario for us. Our family was separated for a short time and the drive to Pensacola is a hard one when facing a medical emergency of a child.