WGH pediatrics unit
I am disturbed by the decision to close the pediatric unit at Warren General Hospital.
Both of my children were born at WGH and my eldest daughter was hospitalized in the pediatric unit on December 28, 2015 at 1.5 years old for croup. She woke from her morning nap, unable to draw a full breath and was seen by Dr. Coombs at Warren Pediatric Associates immediately. Dr. Coombs sent her to WGH ER, where 6 hours of effort to decrease the swelling in her larynx to a satisfactory level were unsuccessful and she was admitted to the pediatric ward to spend the night in a croup tent.
Incidentally, an infant was in another croup tent beside my daughter for the night, having had a similar experience in the ER. Thankfully, because of the efforts of Dr. Coombs, Dr. Thomas, and the nursing staff at WGH, she went home the next day and required only outpatient follow up.
Closing the pediatric ward means one of two things; children requiring overnight medical attention will not be treated at WGH and instead referred to Erie or Pittsburgh or should WGH decide to admit children to a general ward, they will be without the specialized medical knowledge of a pediatrician and the added safety and security that the locked pediatrics ward provides.
Clearly, both options are unacceptable for our community and a hospital that has spent a great deal of money advertising its rank among the “Top 100 Rural Hospitals.”
Warren is fortunate to have a thriving, competent, and compassionate pediatrics practice.
Warren General Hospital’s decision to close the pediatrics ward vastly undercuts the ability of the physicians, with whom I have entrusted the health of my own children, to execute their mission to help keep our community healthy and safe.