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Highlight: Arkansas Children's Hospital

Author J. Davis. Published on May 31, 2011 - 9:15 pm (1993 views — 804 words)

Today I'd like to highlight a state of the art medical facility located in the heartland of the South. Arkansas Children's Hospital is a private, nonprofit institution. It is the only pediatric Level 1 trauma center in Arkansas and the sixth largest in the United States! The pediatric affiliate of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences also serves as a teaching hospital under the UAMS College of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics. The Arkansas Children's Hospital staff consists of more than 500 physicians, 80 residents, and 3,500 support staff members. The campus spans 29 city blocks and has a floor space totaling over 1,200,000 square feet. Located in Little Rock, Arkansas, Arkansas Children's Hospital offers world class medical care with local flavor. It truly is one of the most state of the art facilities in the country.

The hospital provides a comprehensive set of inpatient, outpatient, and specialty services for patients and families including the Child Life and Education Department which addresses the emotional, social, educational and recreational needs of hospitalized children and adolescents It has a state of the art Neonatal Unit which had its 25th anniversary in March 2005. Marked the With 65 bassinets and the ability to care for more than 80 infants, the unit is one of the largest in the nation. Bassinets and equipment are arranged in six-unit pods where there is a noticeable reduction in the bright lights and noise levels. Other facilities include a lactation room and five multi-purpose rooms that can be used for teaching homecare or mother-child bonding.

Another service offered at Arkansas Children's Hospital is the Ilizarov Bone-lengthening technique. Dr. James Aronson is the recognized leading practitioner of this technique in the United States. He is one of only a six orthopaedic surgeons in America who are truly accomplished in this procedure. He studied this unique method of lengthening short limbs from the developer of the process, Professor G.A. Ilizarov in Siberia in the 1980s and was the first to bring it to this country. It is a complex procedure involving the severing of bones and attachment of external metal fixators (braces) to stretch them as they heal.

In April of 2003, Arkansas Children's Hospital announced the installment of newly-developed robotic surgery technology for its patients. The equipment is known as the da Vinci surgical system. Only the second independent pediatric hospital to install this equipment Arkansas Children's Hospital is a world leader in this technology. Robotic surgery incorporates robotic technology with minimally invasive surgery. The help of the robot allows the surgeon to perform multifaceted operations through small incisions, which may result in less pain and a faster recovery for the patient.

The only Burn Center in the state of Arkansas provides state of the art, quality and personal care for pediatric as well as adult patients. The Burn Center Team is currently led by Anjay Khandelwal, MD and is staffed with a clinical nutritionist, social workers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, a child life specialist and a discharge planning coordinator. Synthethic skin substitutes, reconstructive surgery, advanced skin grafting techniques and other scientifically advanced technologies are used to speed recovery and improve outcomes. The Burn Center staff also provides prevention and education programs for communities throughout the state. In addition to burn care, the Burn Center manages complex wounds, necrotizing soft tissue infections, TENS/SJS and traumatic soft tissue injuries.

The hospital is equipped to care for ECMO patients. ECMO, a heart-lung bypass technique, is used to treat infants and children with reversible, life-threatening heart or lung disease when conventional methods have failed. It is most often used to treat infants with meconium aspiration syndrome or congenital diaphragmatic hernia. However, it also can be effective for infants with sepsis, primary pulmonary hypertension, respiratory distress syndrome or barotrauma with air leaks. ECMO bypass is designed for use over a long period of time (days or weeks) as opposed to the short-term machines used for open-heart surgery. ACH is one of only two hospitals in America that can fly an ECMO patient."

The Craniofacial Clinic is the only program of its kind in the region. It provides diagnosis, evaluation and treatment for children with a variety of craniofacial deformities and malformations. The Craniofacial Team consists of pediatric neurosurgeons, craniofacial plastic surgeons, a craniofacial orthodontist, an otolaryngologist, a geneticist, a prosthetist, an orthotist, a speech/language pathologist and a child life specialist.

The physicians at Arkansas Children's Hospital are consistently recognized for their outstanding performance and achievement in taking care of children. Doctors from the hospital are constantly listed on Best Doctors and Top Doctor lists nationally. 124 staff physicians were recognized as 2009-2010 Best Doctors in America.

Arkansas Children's Hospital provides excellent clinical services, teaching and research and is committed to working with others to achieve high quality services for the nation's most precious resource.