By Christina Santiago, California Health Report, November 5, 2020
While I was on call in the pediatric emergency department of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, three firefighters rolled in a gurney with little girl strapped in — but she didn’t look injured. Unlike most kids arriving in an ambulance, she had no obvious injuries, no cervical collar to support her neck, no signs of bleeding and she was alert.
Tracy looked to be about 4 years old and was so tiny compared to the gurney. Her mocha-colored skin was flawless, and her hair was in a dozen perfect braids with white barrettes clipped at the ends. She was visibly anxious and clutching her stuffed, floppy-eared puppy for comfort. Her name has been changed because she’s a minor.
I remember thinking, “Why did the ambulance bring her to a tumultuous, busy emergency department during a pandemic?”