A 13 year-old boy, hospitalized after an auto accident was given little chance of survival. He was admitted to the Brain Injury Responsiveness Program at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, where he received therapies specially tailored to his condition by a team of pediatric rehabilitation experts. Two weeks later he transitioned to acute rehabilitation. After a total of four months in rehab, he was discharged home. Miraculously, he was walking, talking and able to return to school. He continued with outpatient therapy at the hospital which included return visits to the brain injury follow-up clinic.
The need for pediatric rehabilitation programs has never been greater. According to the Brain injury association of America, brain injury is the leading cause of disability and death in children and adolescents in the U.S. Among those ages 0 to 19, each year an average of 62,000 children sustain brain injuries requiring hospitalization as a result of motor vehicle crashes, falls, sports injuries, physical abuse and other causes.
The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, the only pediatric inpatient facility in Oklahoma, is a center of excellence with a focus on continued growth in medical care for children. The hospital has expanded their overall continuum of care for patients with brain injuries, from the Brain Injury Responsiveness Program through outpatient follow-up and community resources and education.
“We have an experienced interdisciplinary team who specialize in pediatric rehabilitation, and several therapists certified in Assistive Technology,” says Kristy Hayes, Therapy Manager for the Pediatric Medical Rehabilitation Unit. “We have years of experience with pediatric brain injury and spinal cord injury, and continue to seek out the most up-to-date evidence-based practices for the patient populations we serve.”
Children with spinal cord injuries benefit from the hospital’s Spinal Cord Injury Optimization Program (SCIOP), which focuses on optimizing independence in children and adolescents with spinal cord injuries after their initial inpatient rehabilitation is complete. These patients benefit from additional therapy, equipment and assistive technology evaluations, and training to foster independence as they grow and develop.
The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital looks at all aspects of a child’s rehabilitation and transition to home. Special education teachers assist with the preparation, planning and resources needed to return to school. Home evaluations are conducted by therapists and social workers while pediatric neuropsychologists assist with discharge planning and follow-up care.
Patient families are not only included in rehabilitation, they play a key role. “Parent support and participation is imperative to the success of their child’s rehabilitation,” Hayes explains. “Parents know their child better than anyone and can motivate and encourage them.” Rehabilitation at the hospital includes planned experiences for patients and families designed to help with community re-entry, as well as parent training on caring safely for their child after discharge.
“Our mission is to maximize the potential of every child in our care, “says Hayes. “We are dedicated to providing outstanding rehabilitation services that improve outcomes and offer hope to children and their families.”