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When a Children's Hospital Makes a Difference for Even Minor Injuries and Illness
by Trillium Hibbeln on 05/05/2010 at 3:14 PM

As parents we hope that our kids can stay away from the hospital. Even though I work at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, I learned firsthand how the expertise of a children's hospital can make all of the difference for even rather minor injuries and illnesses.  

My oldest child was injured on the playground at school last year.  Like many other third graders, he thought it would be cool to jump to the fourth wrung on the monkey bars.  He fell on his shoulder.  At the time it didn't seem like a huge injury so my husband decided to get an X-ray at an adult-based location that he thought would be faster than taking our son to the children's hospital.   

Several days later when the injury did not get better, we finally got smart and brought him to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.  The difference was striking.  Helen DeVos Children's Hospital has pediatric-trained radiologists who know that a growing body is different than an adult body.  The types of X-rays they took were different and as it turned out, my son's arm was broken.  Of course, we felt terrible for not bringing him here in the first place.   

The next visit was to the pediatric orthopaedic office. That was incredible.  They were able to talk to my son in a way that made him feel comfortable and we were able to get follow up X-rays right in their office. What I learned from that experience is that the children's hospital is here for all kids and adolescents in our region for all types of injuries and illnesses-not just when it's a life threatening situation. 

As it turns out, there are thousands of children who are seen in our emergency department, come in for a diagnostic test or come to see a specialist about a concern.  While we are proud of our ability to serve very ill children, we are also proud of what makes a children's hospital special for all kids. 

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