Children's Memorial Hospital & an Adult Trauma

In Chicago we have a hospital called Children’s Memorial Hospital. It has a trauma center and a 24 hour emergency room. There are even signs that say that (you know the blue signs with the H that tell you if you’re driving a hospital is nearby.

So what happens if I, an adult, have a heart attack or get hit by a bullet outside their emergency room? Do they treat me or call 911 and ship me to Grant or Illinois Masonic which are farther away.

If they don’t treat adults then why should we put up a sign indicating that there is an ER nearby that won’t treat most people. And also can there really be enough customers to warrent an ER for kids only. I mean if my kid broke his leg I’d take him to the nearest ER not let him sit in pain till I drove 20 minutes to get one that specializes in kids.

I am not a trauma surgeon, nor an emergency medicine specialist, but…

Hospitals that want the prestige of being a designated trauma center must meet certain standards, which are a complex combination of state law and medical group regulations.

Basically, anyone with immediately life-threatening problems (no spontaneous breathing or heartbeat, uncontrollable bleeding, gunshot wound to the head & unconscious) would be taken to the nearest ER. Once stabilized (may be several hours, including surgery) an adult would probably be transferred to another (non-pediatric) trauma center, and children would be transferred in to children’s.

Lesser degrees of emergencies (chest pain, severe asthma attack) if picked up by EMS would follow established protocols…take to age-appropriate ER unless delay of x # minutes would result.

If you’re driving your kid from your home, by all means go to the nearest ER. If there is some unusual aspect to the case that warrants transferring to Children’s, they’ll set it up after providing initial treatment.

Sue from El Paso

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.