DCH News

Patients & Families

Driscoll's North Pole Network will connect patients with Santa Claus

December 12, 2012
WHAT: Driscoll Children's Hospital's seventh annual North Pole Network will be buzzing tomorrow as local ham radio operators and Driscoll employees connect patients with Santa Claus from their hospital rooms. The patients will be provided a radio so that they can discuss their Christmas wishes with Santa, who will be communicating with them from the "North Pole."
WHEN: 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 13
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll to light its annual holiday tree as Santa Claus arrives

December 04, 2012
WHAT: Santa Claus will arrive on a fire truck Wednesday as Driscoll Children's Hospital lights its annual holiday tree in front of the hospital. Patients, Driscoll employees and their families will be in attendance for the 19th annual event, which will be preceded by music provided by the W.B. Ray High School Holiday Band.
WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Organ donors, their families honored at Driscoll ceremony

November 19, 2012
Dr. Karl Serrao, critical care intensivist, speaks to families of organ donors at a ceremony honoring them and their loved ones Nov. 10 at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
Dr. Karl Serrao, critical care intensivist, speaks to families of organ donors at a ceremony honoring them and their loved ones Nov. 10 at Driscoll Children's Hospital.
CORPUS CHRISTI - The families of children whose organs were donated so that others may live were honored at a poignant ceremony Nov. 10 at Driscoll Children's Hospital. More than 100 people, including families, Driscoll leaders, physicians and other healthcare professionals, gathered in the auditorium to commemorate the lives of the donors.

"It is essential to recognize these children who became organ donors and their families who allowed this gift to happen," said Karl Serrao, MD, critical care intensivist at Driscoll. "The donors have left a lasting and indelible legacy and we at Driscoll Children's Hospital want to celebrate with the families. These organ donors are heroes, as they are saving lives."

As of Nov. 14, 10 donors at Driscoll Children's Hospital have saved the lives of more than 40 other people, Dr. Serrao said.

This was Driscoll's second ceremony honoring organ donors and their families. In 2010, a ceremony was held to unveil the hospital's Organ Donor Wall, on which the names of the donors are inscribed on floating dandelion seeds. Dr. Serrao said he hopes to have an organ donor ceremony annually and raise awareness in the community about the importance of organ donation.

"We want to encourage everyone to be inspired by these children and their families to become a registered donor."

Those who wish to become organ donors can register at www.donatelifetexas.org, Dr. Serrao added.

Author of Driscoll Christmas storybook to hold book-reading

November 14, 2012
WHAT: Driscoll Children's Hospital's 2012 Christmas storybook, "The Legend of the Christmas Star," will be read for children and families by its author, Driscoll Auxiliary member Sandy Lindsey, at Barnes & Noble Booksellers. The book was illustrated by current and former patients of Driscoll Children's Hospital, and proceeds from its sales go toward scholarships for Driscoll patients.
WHEN: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
WHERE: Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 5129 Blanche Moore Dr.

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Driscoll Children's Hospital, Kohl's Department Stores sponsor the Keep Your Kids Safe Program

November 08, 2012
Kohl's to donate $50,387 to Driscoll's Injury Prevention Program

CORPUS CHRISTI - Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for 2010 shows that about two children 12 or younger were killed and 325 were injured each day in passenger vehicles. The NHTSA also estimates that roughly three out of four child safety seats are not used correctly.

Driscoll Children's Hospital's Injury Prevention Program will conduct a car-seat inspection event on Friday, Nov. 9 at Kohl's Department Store, 5626 Saratoga Blvd. Certified child passenger safety technicians will be on hand from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to check car-seats for proper installation and advise parents and caregivers on how to choose the right car-seats and install them properly in their vehicles. A check for $50,387 will be presented to Driscoll by Kohl's at 10:15 a.m.

This year's grant will help support child safety initiatives and outreach programs in the areas of child passenger safety and helmet safety. The donations were collected from Kohl's stores. Since 2004, Kohl's has gifted Driscoll Children's Hospital $343,886 to promote child safety efforts.

"Kohl's has been a great supporter of our child safety initiatives. We are fortunate to have such a great partner," said Maricruz Cantu, Injury Prevention coordinator at Driscoll Children's Hospital. "Along with the grant which allow us to continue our injury prevention programs, the Kohl's associates volunteer their time and make our community outreach events a success."

Cantu urges parents and caregivers to follow NHTSA's car-seat guidelines and manufacturer instructions, which recommend that children stay in specific restraint types before moving to the next type. For maximum safety, car-seat installations should be inspected by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. Children ages 12 and under should always ride in the back seat, Cantu said.

Important guidelines for child seat safety are:

Birth-12 months old: For the best possible protection, children under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car-seat. There are different types of rear-facing car-seats. Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car-seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing children to remain rear-facing for a longer period of time.

1-3 years old: Children should remain in a rear-facing car-seat until they reach the maximum height or weight allowed by the manufacturer. This may result in many children riding rear-facing to age 2 or older. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car-seat, he or she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car-seat with a harness.

4-7 years old: Children should be kept in a forward-facing car-seat with a harness until they reach the maximum height or weight allowed by the manufacturer. Once the child outgrows the forward-facing seat, it's time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.

8-12 years old: Keep children in a booster seat until they're big enough to wear a seatbelt properly. For a seatbelt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.

Parents and caregivers should remember:

Select a car-seat based on the child's age and size, choose a seat that fits in the vehicle and use it on every trip, every time.

Always refer to the car-seat manufacturer's instructions. Read the vehicle owner's manual on how to install the car-seat using the seat belt or LATCH system. Check height and weight limits.

To maximize safety, keep children in the car-seat for as long as possible, providing they fit within the manufacturer's height and weight requirements.

Keep children in the back seat at least through age 12.

What: Check presentation and children's car-seat checks
When: Check presentation at 10:15 a.m.; car-seat checks from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9
Where: Kohl's Department Store, 5626 Saratoga Blvd.

Hospital patients will trick-or-treat during Driscoll's Pumpkin Parade

October 30, 2012
WHAT: The 12th annual Pumpkin Parade is a chance for patients at Driscoll Children's Hospital to get dressed up in their Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating within the hospital. Driscoll employees will line the route with goodies for the children as they parade by. Representatives from Stripes convenience stores, naval aviators from the Pilot for a Day program and Corpus Christi Hooks mascot Rusty Hook will also participate.
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, main lobby, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Driscoll's Adolescent Weight Management Program patients will gather for annual Bariatric Reunion

October 26, 2012
WHAT: Teenage patients who are participating in Driscoll Children's Hospital's Adolescent Weight Management Program are invited to the annual Bariatric Reunion at Treasure Island Golf & Games Saturday. The patients will enjoy putt-putt golf and other games as they share their experiences and develop friendships. Driscoll's Bariatric Program, begun in 2009, involves extensive weight control and nutritional education and, for patients who meet certain criteria, surgical attachment of an adjustable band around the stomach that aids in decreasing sensations of hunger.
WHEN: 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27
WHERE: Treasure Island Golf & Games, 14041 S. Padre Island Dr., Padre Island

Kiwanis Club's apple sale benefiting Driscoll patients is tomorrow

October 26, 2012
WHAT: The 30th annual Six Points Kiwanis Club Apple Sale will be held Saturday at Driscoll Children's Hospital's north parking lot. Cost: $40 per case of apples. Each case contains 88 to 100 Red or Golden Delicious apples. Proceeds benefit Camp for All, a summer camp for patients of Driscoll's Cancer & Blood Disorders Center.
WHEN: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Once-fragile preemies, their families will reunite with caregivers

October 19, 2012
CORPUS CHRISTI - Infants who are brought to Driscoll Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are usually there during the most fragile time in their lives. Patients and their families can spend several months in the hospital, day in and day out, so it's no surprise that strong bonds often form between them and the NICU physicians, nurses and other caregivers.

Because of the relationships that develop between patients and caregivers, Driscoll Children's Hospital holds the NICU Reunion each fall to give everyone a chance to reconnect and celebrate the lives of the babies who have grown into children and adults.

"It's exciting for our staff to keep in contact with the patients they cared for," said Patricia Carr, Driscoll assistant vice president of Patient Care Services. "It's a wonderful thing watching our patients grow into children and adults. The event is truly like a big family reunion."

At the fall festival-themed celebration, Driscoll staff members who have cared for NICU patients over the years will be on hand to meet with the more than 150 families who are eager to share stories of their children's progress since their stay at Driscoll - some of whom are now adults. In addition to dressing up in their Halloween costumes, NICU "graduates" will enjoy food, games, prizes and other goodies at the event.

Driscoll Children's Hospital's level III NICU cares for newborns and infants for a variety of reasons, including prematurity (carried less than 37 weeks), respiratory distress, infections, birth defects and other illnesses. Staffed by neonatologists 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the 47-bed NICU cares for premature and critically ill infants from 31 South Texas counties.

What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual NICU Reunion
When: 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital, Rehabilitation Services parking lot, 3533 S. Alameda St.

Patients will be treated to Halloween celebration at Driscoll

October 15, 2012
WHAT: Volunteers with Spirit Halloween's Spirit of Children program are bringing a Halloween celebration to patients at Driscoll Children's Hospital, including costumes, activities and more. There will be plenty of opportunities for photos and interviews.
WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.