Geisinger's new emergency area designed with children in mind

One of the rooms in Geisinger Medical Center's new Pediatric Emergency Zone.

DANVILLE — Geisinger Medical Center is trying to create a more positive experience for children needing emergency treatment.

The hospital’s new child-friendly zone for pediatric emergencies is designed to calm the minds of both children and their families. The pediatric zone is staffed every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“Children are not little adults,” said Sarah Alander, M.D., director of pediatric emergency services. “Their illnesses, injury patterns and developmental needs are different than that of adults. In the pediatrics zone everything is focused on the child — from the bright colors and the right-sized equipment to our team’s understanding of a child’s physical and emotional needs.”

The pediatric emergency team diagnoses and treats a wide range of emergencies, including serious infections, surgical emergencies, serious trauma and injuries ranging from lacerations to broken bones. 

Staffed by two physicians trained in pediatric emergency medicine, emergency medicine physicians, emergency nurses with pediatric training, respiratory therapists and a child life specialist, the pediatrics zone provides care for children from birth until their 18th birthday.

The pediatric zone also works hand in hand with general pediatricians and pediatric sub-specialists at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital.

“The addition of the pediatric zone to our Emergency Medicine Services is an invaluable and a long-awaited addition. The approach to medical care in this pediatric zone is different because the staff is dedicated to knowing children and their psychologies. We are so appreciative of the expertise Dr. Sarah Alander and Dr. Jason Crellin bring to our Children’s Hospital,” said Dr. Frank Maffei, chairman of Pediatrics.

The pediatric zone has nine rooms equipped with pediatric-specific technology. Two rooms are designed for using a safe and state-of-the-art approach to sedating children for painful procedures such as setting a broken bone. Child life specialists are available in the zone to provide support and education to both parents and children.

“Our team understands how to talk to children and ease their anxieties,” said Tracey Craddock, child life specialist in the pediatrics zone.

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