Your Health Matters: Excellence in emergency care

Excellence in emergency care

When you do look at two year old Max McNabb you see a bright little boy full of energy. He loves his mom Meredith and you would never suspect that two years ago he was clinging to life.

"About two weeks after his first check up he started to cry uncontrollably and was fussy," says Max's mom Meredith McNabb.

Just two weeks after he was born, a perfectly healthy baby max started to act very sick. So, on her way to see the doctor about the changes in Max's behavior, McNabb noticed something became horribly wrong.

"I had a blanket over him and lifted up the blanket and he had gone blue and yellow. You could visibly see these signs that the baby was in distress," says McNabb.

McNabb rushed baby Max just down the road to Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital where medical staff immediately took action.

"They started to get vitals because his heart rate was 280 beats a minute, and he was ultimately diagnosed with supraventricular tachycarida or SVT which is an electrical malfunction in the heart that cause it to beat really rapidly," says McNabb.

Max's condition known as SVT was something he was born with but it finally reached its tipping point which caused the little baby to need emergency care. It was this care that McNabb says was immediately evident at Paul Oliver.

"There was a level of concern and care for my family and son," says McNabb. In the meantime, Paul Oliver staff were in touch with Munson Medical Center who informed them that a pediatrics team out of Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids was gearing up to have Max transferred down to their hospital.

Finally after five days of tests and medication at Helen DeVos, Max was able to return home and back to normal health. But it was the initial care for several hours in Paul Oliver's emergency room that made all the difference.

"They did everything they could and they did it right...the staff at DeVos was so impressed," says McNabb.

It's this type of care that's one of the many reasons Paul Oliver was awarded two 2011 National Summit awards for their emergency and outpatient departments.

"The press award is awarded to us for three years of excellent outpatient satisfaction...and we're the only hospital in Michigan to that award three years in a row," says Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital chief operating officer, Peter Marinoff.

Marinoff credits the award to close to home care much like the McNabb family received.

"The type of care that Max received is really the same type of care that everyone receives here. The staff carry a lot of pride in providing service. To win a national award just magnifies the pride they feel," says Marinoff.

It's this hospital pride that Marinoff says comes from the surrounding community.

"It's a small community so a lot of people have a vested interest in the community itself. I think the small community gives it a sense of specialness in that the hospital is doing something special for very small community," says Marinoff.

"If this ER at Paul Oliver wouldn't have been here we'd be talking about a much different story today. They did everything they could and they did it right," says McNabb.

McNabb says Max did have to take medication for his heart condition for about one year, but he is now doing just fine and all of his EKGs are normal.

As for Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital, it is only one of four hospitals in the country to be recognized for the two National Awards for 2011.

For more information about the hospital click here.