When Care Can’t Wait: True Stories of Renown ER

By: Dani Vogel

May 09, 2024

Renown ER team members providing emergency care smile

Renown Health is home to three 24/7 Emergency Rooms (ERs) providing comprehensive emergency and trauma care, access to specialists and inpatient services backed by the area's most extensive health system. In 2023, Renown Health cared for 132,340 patients across three ER locations. Renown is also home to the region’s only level II trauma centers for both adult and pediatric patients.  

We spoke to three patients who sought immediate medical attention for various ailments and conditions to learn more about their emergency care experience and why they chose Renown ERs.  

Kamrin’s Story: From Worrisome to Critical 

In the spring of 2021, Danielle and her 13-year-old son Kamrin visited his primary care doctor for unexplained vomiting and were promptly referred to Renown Children's ER via ambulance for further evaluation and seen by board-certified emergency physician, Dr. Lisa Nelson. What initially began as an unassuming doctor's visit quickly turned into something much more severe after several tests confirmed a devastating abdominal tumor and a stage-four cancer diagnosis, unbeknownst to the family. 

Kamrin was immediately admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and referred to a Pediatric Oncologist at Renown Children’s Hospital to begin his plan of care with expert pediatric hematology and oncology specialists. 

Regarding the board-certified physician, who delivered the results to the family, Danielle said, “She was so calming to us, even as the diagnosis haunted us. She led us by guiding our family through the unknowns. She felt like a family member to us in that moment, letting all the unknowns be well known.” 

“The love, empathy, support and guidance these employees gave us carried us. The care team quickly and easily became a source of relief, knowing we were their priority and in the best hands. We are forever grateful for the team at Renown Children's Hospital and Renown Children’s ER; they truly saved our son's life and continue to be our guiding light whenever it's needed in our son’s health journey,” Danielle said.  

Today, Kamrin is in remission and navigating the aftereffects of chemotherapy, including an immune system deficiency. However, his family chooses to navigate each day by embracing the positive side of things, such as the life-saving impact of his treatment. 

Did you know? Renown Children's Pediatric Hematology and Oncology is located within Renown Regional Medical Center and offers expert pediatric specialists dedicated to providing comprehensive treatment for pediatric hematology and oncology, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and infusion services. 

Taylor’s Story: From Crisis to Recovery 

Promptly after cosmetic surgery performed by a medical professional not associated with Renown, Taylor Salas (Chacon) began to lose consciousness and notice her post-surgery drainage systems, also known as Jackson-Pratt drains, fill with blood. She was transported to Renown Regional ER via ambulance and immediately seen by ER staff and board-certified emergency physician Thea Berning, MD, for medical assessment.  

Taylor drifted in and out of consciousness as the ER team began blood transfusions and a CT scan to determine her plan of care. Dr. Berning began facilitating communication with a community plastic surgeon with privileges at Renown Health and emergency surgery was performed to stop Taylor’s internal bleeding. Taylor was placed on a ventilator due to respiratory distress and trauma from the event, then transferred to Renown’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to continue her care. 

Thankfully, Taylor listened to her gut when something didn’t feel right after her surgery and sought immediate medical attention. The ER team's quick response, communication and collaboration with a plastic surgeon saved Taylor from severe internal bleeding. “I was informed every step of the way about what was happening and why. I felt comfort in this,” she said.  

Did you know? Because of Renown Regional Medical Center’s Level II Trauma Center distinction, you have immediate access to an extensive list of specialists and physicians trained in a wide array of specialties, in the event of a traumatic injury or accident. This is one of the many benefits of Renown Regional’s Level II Trauma status

Ted’s Story: The Unsuspected Threat  

Bothered by symptoms of heartburn, fatigue, neck pressure and arm discomfort, Ted was in the middle of a busy workweek in June 2023 when he began to suspect something was wrong. Knowing the importance of addressing early heart attack symptoms immediately, Ted and his wife headed to Renown Regional ER because of proximity and some familiarity with Renown’s leading cardiology care and technological expertise.

After prompt assessment by the Renown ER team, including blood work, imaging tests and the administration of medication, Ted was admitted to the hospital to treat the blockage and narrowing of his coronary artery. On June 8, Ted was admitted for treatment, where he successfully underwent a single bypass surgery and recovered in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU), before being discharged and following up with the Intensive Cardiac Rehab (ICR) program at Renown.

The ICR program at Renown played a pivotal role in Ted's 55-pound weight loss and overall health improvement, empowering him to embrace a healthier lifestyle and find ways to use his newfound energy and strength today.

“Overall, I believe I had the best care possible because of the collective group of people at Renown caring for this community, who we could see in the grocery store, at the ball game and in the shopping malls. This community feeling is something you might not get in a big city hospital,” Ted said.

Did you know? Intensive Cardiac Rehab at Renown Health is a medically supervised program designed to improve cardiovascular health after a significant heart condition or procedure. Since its inception in 2016, this program has been a pioneer in the region for cardiac rehabilitation focusing on three key pillars including exercise, nutrition and stress management. 

Renown ER – Your Trusted Partner in Emergency and Trauma Care 

Emergency and trauma care is just one area in which Renown Health is the regional leader. When patients or families choose Renown during an emergency, they will have access to all the resources provided through the entire health network. This means access to the many specialists available to consult on different conditions or care situations, inpatient care if needed, referrals to other areas of the network and medications to go.  

Our dedicated ER teams are here to provide immediate care 24/7, 365 days a year. Learn more about Renown’s emergency and trauma care and plan ahead by viewing your estimated wait time online.  

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