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Healthcare team’s quick thinking saves 7-month-old


When 7-month-old Amara Felder tumbled off of a couch, her parents, Nova Felder and Jvonne Dickson, didn’t see any bruises on their daughter. They decided to take her to the hospital just in case.

They drove her from a friend’s home in Brooklyn to Franklin Hospital, Valley Stream, N.Y., presuming at the worst that Amara might have a concussion. A CT scan discovered an epidural hematoma and a skull fracture. The pressure needed to be relieved quickly. After Joseph Zito, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Franklin Hospital, discovered the hematoma, he called the transfer center, intubated her and kept the child stable until an ambulance could take her to Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park.

According to a news release, a Nassau County police officer had just escorted an ambulance to Franklin and saw the girl was in need of immediate help. The officer helped block side streets from Franklin to Cohen, and the ambulance got Amara there in 12 minutes.

Lillian Hope, RN, BSN, a neonatal pediatric critical care transport nurse, was part of a team in the back of the ambulance trying to keep the infant stable during the ride. The healthcare team also included Joseph Falco, DO, pediatric critical care fellow; Thomas McCarthy, paramedic; and Phoebe Yuen, respiratory therapist.

Transport nurses carry phones, according to Hope, to receive calls from EMS.

“We received the call to come and get the patient from Franklin,” Hope said. “The ICU attending gets the information and decides whether it’s emergent or not. When I heard the call, I knew it was an emergency. We just had to go get the patient. It was difficult not knowing what her outcome would be.”

Mark Mittler, MD, Cohen’s co-chief of pediatric neurosurgery, already had an operating room prepped for the operation, and the child had been preadmitted.

“Neurosurgery was there waiting for us and had already seen the scans,” Hope said. “Sometimes the patient gets another CT scan, but Amara was so bad she went right into the OR.”

Within about 10 minutes of the girl’s arrival, the blood clot in her brain was removed, according to Mittler.

“It was critical care that they gave to Amara,” Felder said. “They knew what to do with no confusion.”

Regional reporter Tracey Boyd contributed to this story.


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