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Our not-so-scary emergency department

October 29, 2019

When kids have to visit the Emergency Department (ED) it’s alarming, to say the least. But Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) makes it easier for patients who have developmental delays or behavioral disorders. Two sensory rooms have been in place in the ED for more than two years, providing surroundings that are much more comfortable than a typical sterile room with white walls. Items for comfort include weighted blankets, fidget toys and tablets. Murals with outdoor scenery offer a much-needed distraction.

“There’s definitely a difference when you’re in one of the rooms,” explains ED Physician Jon Garlovsky, D.O.

At the time of the opening/dedication of the rooms, NCH President and CEO Steve Scogna said, “We want people to come into the best surroundings and to get the kind of care that they deserve.”

The rooms were made possible by generous donors in the community, including Chris and Susan Dungan of Arlington Heights; the Rotary Club of Arlington Heights; and Marcy Burhop of Arlington Heights.

Why the rooms are needed

“With certain kids that have behavioral disorders or sensory needs, this type of room – with a weighted blanket – can have a calming effect on patients without us having to resort to other means such as medication or physical restraint,” Dr. Garlovsky says. “It helps patients relax during their stay and calms them down. They don’t know they’re in an emergency department, and it works.”

Learn more about NCH’s state-of-the-art emergency care, which includes pediatric emergency care through a partnership with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.