I’ve experienced traumatic emergencies with children both as a pediatrician and as a parent, so I understand from both perspectives how significant of an event it is when a child suffers a major injury. As the President and Chief Executive Officer of GBMC HealthCare, it’s ultimately my job to make sure our people treat every patient with the same care, comfort and respect they would as if they were treating their own child or family member.
Sometimes, there’s room for improvement in our efforts. But more often than not, our staff gets it right. In the case of 13-year-old Chris Brandau, the staff in our Department of Surgery and Pediatric Emergency Department got it right.
Last November 19, Chris was at a friend’s house when he slipped while climbing a bunkbed ladder. He was rushed to GBMC, where his parents met him and he was seen in the Pediatric Emergency Department.
“Megan Silberzahn (a Pediatric Emergency Department nurse) was kind and competent with Chris,” his mother Trish reported in a letter sent to me shortly after the incident, commending several of our staff members. “She immediately recognized the potential severity of the break (it turned out Chris had a complete fracture of the radius and ulna bones) and treated him with the utmost care and compassion.”
Chris was admitted to the hospital under the care of orthopedic surgeon Mark Deitch, M.D., a hand and wrist specialist, and a plan was set in motion for Chris to have surgery in the General Operating Room to repair his fractured arm. “All the nurses that cared for Chris provided exceptional care,” Trish wrote, specifically citing Megan Silberzahn, Carlye Page and Debbie Jerez. The Pediatric Emergency Department staff, in Trish’s words, “all made what could have been a horrible experience feel like recovering from a cold. They were kind, responsive and gentle with Chris, and informative and understanding with us.”
After the initial surgery last November, Dr. Deitch removed the rods from Chris’ arm in a second procedure in January at the Sherwood Surgical Center, and his mother happily reports Chris is back to playing basketball and lacrosse with no complications.
Trish recently shared her thoughts on the family’s experience at GBMC. I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch this brief video and hear from the perspective of a patient’s parent how our staff is working toward providing Better Health and Better Care.
We’ve got great people who are really good at what they do, and we almost always get it right. We owe it to our patients to be striving for perfection in the care and the patient’s experience of the care because when we don’t get it right that family doesn’t take any comfort in that we usually get it right.
Kudos to the staff who in this case, got it right for the Brandau family.
Do you know any Leap Year babies? You might get to meet some on February 29th if you watch WMAR-ABC2’s newscasts. GBMC is hosting the station for 24 hours for “Leap Labor”, a series of stories visiting with parents, family members and friends of babies born on Leap Day at GBMC. Be sure to tune in to the station’s morning or evening newscasts and meet some of the hospital’s newest arrivals and their families.