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Pediatric Update

December 2013

Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital receives verification as a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center

A Q&A with YNHCH chief of pediatric surgery, Michael Caty, MD

Last month the American College of Surgeons Verification Review Committee (VRC) assigned a team to review YNHCH's Level I trauma program. Although the decision is pending final administrative approval from the VRC, we achieved re-verification as a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center up to the year 2016 as well as locally by the state of Connecticut.

YNHCH's trauma center is a leader in the treatment and care of injured children. ACS trauma verification identifies that YNHCH has met the highest standards set for a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, and has taken the hospital to another level of expertise and the highest level of preparation for the care of injured children. Our goal is to continually pursue excellence in all aspects of pediatric trauma care.

Q: What is the ACS?
MC: ACS is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that began in 1913. The ACS works to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient before, en route and during hospitalization. It does so by setting high standards for surgical education and practice.

Q: What is ACS verification?
MC: The ACS Consultation/Verification Program helps hospitals evaluate and improve trauma care. It provides an objective, external review of a trauma center's resources and performance. A team of trauma experts completes an on-site review of the hospital and assesses relevant features of the program. These include commitment, readiness, resources, policies, patient care, and performance improvement.

Q: How do you prepare for an immediate response?
MC: An essential component of a trauma center is to anticipate and be ready for the needs of the critically injured child 24/7. Thorough evaluation and treatment by multiple clinical specialties must be available and provided in a timely manner. The operating room and trained staff must be immediately accessible. Since children are the focus at YNHCH, all training and education, as well as equipment, is pediatric specific. Following the guidelines prescribed by the ACS, a comprehensive system to immediately and definitively care for the injured child is in place. Trauma services work to continually improve critical elements of trauma care, such as access to the system, pre-hospital care, acute hospital care, rehabilitation and injury prevention.

Q: What is a pediatric trauma center?
MC: A pediatric trauma center is distinguished from other facilities in that it guarantees the immediate availability and dedication of specialized pediatric surgeons, anesthesiologists, physician specialists, nurses, pediatric resuscitation equipment and an available operating room on a 24 hour a day basis.

Q: What requirements must a Level 1 pediatric trauma center meet?
MC: The publication from the ACS Committee on Trauma, Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient, is used as a guide for the development of trauma systems in the United States. Some of the requirements include meeting an admission volume, having an in-house general surgeon or appropriate substitute available 24 hours a day for major resuscitations as well as in the ED upon patient arrival with adequate notification from the field and a maximum acceptable response time of 15 minutes. For designation as a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, pediatric surgeons, emergency medicine physicians, and trauma program managers from various regions of the country provide a rigorous on-site review in order to ensure compliance of these regulations.

Q: What continuing education programs are offered for our YNHCH community?
MC: Our monthly multidisciplinary conference offers dynamic speakers from both the YNHCH and state leadership communities six times per year. Quarterly, the trauma program organizes the "Snack & Learn" lecture series in the Pearson Room of YNHCH. Annually, the Pediatric Trauma Symposium offers an opportunity for interactive lectures that feature evidenced-based practice. For more information about these educational programs, please contact Linda Roney, Pediatric Trauma Program Coordinator at

YNHCH congenital heart disease and cardiac services 

Meet the team:

Pediatric Cardiologists

asnes Jeremy Asnes, MD Martha Brueckner,
elder Robert Elder, MD, John Fahey, MD
fishberger Steven Fishberger, MD friedman Alan Friedman, MD
greenstein Emily Greenstein, MD Kevin Hall, MD
greenstein William Hellenbrand,
, section chief
Bevin Weeks, MD
greenstein Constance Weismann,

Cardiac Surgeons


Paul Kirshbom, MD,
section chief

Gary Kopf, MD
greenstein Mohsen Karimi, MD

The congenital heart disease and cardiac services program at YNHCH provide care to infants, children and young adults with congenital and acquired heart conditions and cardiac rhythm disturbances. The program offers expert diagnosis and management of fetal heart defects, coordinating with maternal fetal medicine, in YNHCH's Fetal Care Center. Our pediatric cardiologists are expertly trained to provide this care with the use of electrocardiography, echocardiography, cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology studies. Our congenital heart surgeons provide advanced surgical care in YNHCH's dedicated pediatric surgery center.

Through a joint cardiac surgery program with Connecticut Children's Medical Center, YNHCH recruited two cardiac surgeons, Paul Kirshbom, MD, chief of pediatric cardiac surgery and Mohsen Karimi, MD, associate chief. Together with the third member of the surgical team Gary Kopf, MD, they recently completed their 250th case in total at both institutions. The development of this program allows patients the opportunity to receive high-quality cardiac care locally.

To receive a rapid consultation from one of our pediatric cardiologists or cardiac surgeons, call our Pediatric Consultation Service Y Access Line, 888.964.4233.

Conditions We Treat

  • Acquired heart disease
  • Arrhythmias
  • Atrial septal defect
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Complex single ventricle anomalies
  • Congenital heart defects and anomalies
  • Fetal cardiac defects
  • Heart failure
  • Kawaski disease
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Ventricular septal defect

Diagnostics and Treatment

  • 3D arrhythmia mapping
  • Ablation using advanced intracardiac mapping systems
  • Aneurysm repair (heart and aortic)
  • Arrhythmia and pacemaker surgery
  • Congenital heart surgery
  • Fetal echocardiography
  • Interventional cardiology
  • Lead extractions
  • Valve replacement surgery

Michael L. DiLuna, MD, named chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery

Michael L. DiLuna, MD,  is the new chief of pediatric Neurosurgery for the department of Neurosurgery and YNHCH. Dr. DiLuna oversees expanding development and clinical program growth, and enhancing efforts around quality, safety and patient experience at the Children's Hospital. Dr. DiLuna earned his undergraduate and medical degrees at Yale University, and did his residency in Neurosurgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital and a fellowship in pediatric Neurosurgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. In 2010, after completing his fellowship, Dr. DiLuna returned to Yale School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital as assistant professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics.

Upcoming Events

2014 Specialist Education for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxgenation (SEECMO) Conference
Registration is now open!
Friday, April 4 to
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Omni Hotel
Providence, RI 02903

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