Using Simulation To Prepare For Opening Of The Pavilion For Women

At Texas Children’s Hospital, in addition to the care and safety of our patients, we also view the safety of everyone visiting and working in our hospital to be a top priority. That’s why before opening outpatient services at the Pavilion for Women, we conducted realistic, emergency response simulation sessions to give our team valuable hands-on response experience in our new facility.

Simulation is a methodology that can not only be used for educating and training, but also for testing new patient care environments, equipment and processes. In situ simulation is a simulation that is physically integrated into a real clinical environment and provides a method for identifying possible safety hazards in high-risk areas and help our staff prepare for various types of emergency situations that may arise in a hospital setting. It enables the team to identify the resources, systems and design adaptations of the new facility that impact a timely response Full Entry »

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The First Gynecology Visit: A Message To Teen Girls (And Their Parents)

Many moms aren’t aware that the first gynecology visit for their teen daughter is actually recommended for sometime between the ages of 13 and 15 years old. You probably had your first visit sometime around going to college. Hopefully, your experience was a good one.

The most important part of your daughter’s first gynecology visit is the chance for her to start developing a relationship with a doctor. It’s not about getting a Pap smear. Actually, no girls should be getting Pap smears (unless they are pregnant) until age 21. Many people — even some doctors — are not aware of this fact, so please spread the word. Pap smears are a screening test for cervical cancer, which is virtually non-existent in teenage girls. Young women who have been exposed to HPV through sexual activity frequently have abnormal Pap smears that, if just left alone, clear up on their own. An early abnormal Pap smear can trigger Full Entry »

Posted in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Parenting, Pavilion for Women Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Service With A Heart: The Tiniest Of Lives


November 2006 will be a month that I will never forget.

For many years as an operating room nurse, I comforted the crying eyes of a child as I held them and walked away from their mothers and fathers, but this patient was very different from any of my pediatric surgical patients. My patient wasn’t a newborn, a toddler or a child. My patients were two unborn children carried within their mother’s womb. Two lives that have never felt the touch of their mother’s hands, the love of their father, or have ever seen the light of day. Two of the tiniest lives that were fighting for their very existence within their mother’s womb with a lethal condition called twin-twin transfusion syndrome.

Our team wheeled the expectant mother into the operating room. The operating room was full of people waiting to catch a glimpse of our unborn patients. I had set up my sterile operating room table and had all the necessary supplies and equipment that would be able to help these two unborn patients. Before surgery began, I reached out to the mother’s hand and said the only thing I could think to say, “We are going to take care of your babies.” With a nervous look on her face she smiled at me and said nothing. Full Entry »

Posted in Fetal Center, Nursing, Parenting, Pavilion for Women, Surgery Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The Human Touch In Medicine

The memory of that day remains vivid even today. My wife and I sat nervously in the waiting room, while our 2-month-old son underwent neurosurgery for craniosynostosis. It was the longest 4 hours of our lives, and impacted the way I’ll practice medicine forever.

Although well informed about the diagnosis, treatments and outcomes, the lack of control was killing me. Our first child had always been with at least one of us — and never out of our sight. Now, at 2 months old, I had left him in the OR with complete strangers and unable to know what was happening second to second.

And then suddenly, the double doors opened and out came a bed.

There was a small being, asleep, with a swollen face, and a massive head dressing with a yellow ribbon. My wife instantly called out his name and knew it was our son. Full Entry »

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Posted in Community, Fetal Center, Intensive Care, Neurology, Parenting Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Donor Breast Milk Program Supports New Moms And Infants

It has been an exciting month for the Lactation and Milk Bank services at Texas Children’s Hospital. On August 9 we launched our first-ever donor breast milk program, asking local moms to donate their excess breast milk to help critically ill and premature babies in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) thrive. A great deal of work has
hosuton-milk-bank-219x300 gone into this new program and it’s great that we are now able to get the word out and find moms who want to help.

At Texas Children’s Hospital, we have long believed that breast milk is best for babies, especially for our tiniest patients. Studies conducted here as well as other centers have supported this belief. As a result, we have worked hard to follow a feeding protocol in our NICU where babies weighing less than three pounds are fed 100% breast milk (either mother’s own or donor milk). Strong scientific evidence has shown that NICU infants have fewer incidences of harmful, sometimes fatal, infections when they are fed only human milk.

As we prepare to move into Texas Children’s new Pavilion for Women and expand into maternity services, we anticipate our need for donor milk will be even greater. Right now, we use an average of 2,000 Full Entry »

Posted in Breastfeeding, Community, Motherhood, Nutrition, Parenting, Pavilion for Women Tagged , , , , , , , , ,