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Health care for our children

Posted: January 26, 2009 9:09 p.m.
Updated: January 27, 2009 4:55 a.m.
I wanted The Signal readers of Santa Clarita to know the poor quality of children's health care provided in this valley.

My 5-year-old son fell while at day care on the evening of Dec. 30. I picked him up at 5 p.m. and realized I would need to take him to see a doctor right away. I drove to the First Care Walk-In Medical Group in Saugus.

We were seen by the doctor there almost immediately. After seeing the X-rays of my son's elbow, and determining it was indeed broken and would require me to see a pediatric orthopedist, the First Care staff began by calling our own hospital, Henry Mayo, to see if they had a pediatric ortho on call. They did not. I was a little shocked.

The sign outside the hospital says it is a children's trauma center. With that being said, the First Care staff then called the other area hospitals (Holy Cross, Valley Pres., Tarzana, and Northridge).

Every hospital gave them the same answer: "No pediatric ortho on call. Send the patient to UCLA or Childrens Hospital."

While this was going on, I got in touch with a friend who works at Antelope Valley Hospital, who found me a pediatric ortho, and I drove my son there to be seen by Dr. Alon Antebi.

My son ended up needing surgery and two pins placed in the elbow. We spent three days in the hospital.
I am very grateful to the staff at First Care for their help and diligence trying to find somewhere for my son to be seen.

I also am very grateful to the staff at the AV Hospital and Dr. Antebi himself for seeing us so quickly and monitoring us overnight both before and after surgery to make sure my son would have full use of his arm.

But I am very disappointed that I wasn't able to take my son to the nearest hospital, Henry Mayo. I hope in the hospital expansion plans there is something for pediatrics.

I hope everyone reads this and lets Henry Mayo know that our valley is full of children and they sometimes get hurt and require medical attention, that parents would much rather that care happen close to home as opposed to miles from home.


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