Which Scranton hospital for my son's asthma attack?
September 3, 2012 1:31 PM   Subscribe

Which of these three Scranton PA hospitals would you recommend for emergency pulmonology services (asthma attack): Moses Taylor, Community Medical Center, Regional Hospital of Scranton.
posted by Breav to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
Is he having the attack now?

Generally I would choose the hospital at which his pediatrician has admitting privileges. You can call his pediatrician and ask. If it's an acute attack, I would go to the nearest hospital or call 911.

Good luck.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:59 PM on September 3, 2012

Thank you. He is a large boy attending college in Scranton, so his pediatrician not only doesn't have admitting privileges, she doesn't know anything about any of the three hospitals. It's hard to tell from here if/when a stoic young man needs to go to the ER but he promises to go in the next few hours if he has no relief from his step-up course of meds. All three hospitals are within a mile of school, so distance is not a factor.
posted by Breav at 2:12 PM on September 3, 2012

You may want to compare some ranking numbers:
Scranton Hospitals is a placero start.
posted by SLC Mom at 2:24 PM on September 3, 2012

I don't know if he's wheezing now. I have no idea what his "step-up course of meds" consists of. I'm just sitting here thinking about someone writing for advice on asthma attacks, on the internet, and waiting for replies, and all I've got to say (and this might be overly cautious) is: TELL HIM TO GO TO THE ER. ANY ER. NOW.

In the event of an asthma attack, the best facility is the closest one. Any ER is capable of treating an asthma exacerbation: even a children's hospital. The most important things to consider are DISTANCE and TIME. Think: CLOSER and FASTER. Think: NOW.

Asthma kills, and things can get very bad very quickly. He should get appropriate treatment sooner rather than later. Emergent treatment might be overly cautious but may prevent death. Delayed treatment may necessitate consideration of which hospital has the best pulmonology service if intubation and mechanical ventilation are required. If he's doing all right now, but having symptoms, why wait until things get to that point?

Plenty of people do fine without the services of an ER. But I've had patients crash in the time it's taken me to write this. Would I tell everyone who asks me if they should go to the ER to go? No. But this is the internet, where time seems a luxury and reading counts for action instead of the distraction it can be.
posted by herrdoktor at 2:59 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

In my experience, Moses Taylor is the best right now. I took my mother there in March with bronchitis, and they were very helpful and quick.
posted by elvissa at 3:13 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

BTW - My husband and mother both work at the University of Scranton, and we live close by. If you're not in Scranton, feel free to message me if your son needs someone local to help.
posted by elvissa at 3:15 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

When this attack is no longer acute, he should find a primary care physician in the area who can help him manage his asthma. They will be able to answer questions like these and help him determine when to go to the hospital. Becoming independently responsible for getting himself appropriate medical care is an important part of transitioning into an adult with a chronic and life-threatening medical condition. You'll always be his mom and be worried about him, of course, but the more he can take into his own hands (with your wise guidance) the better.

Good luck to you both and I hope he feels better!
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:26 PM on September 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Geisinger-CMC. I had a young asthmatic relative in and out of Scranton hospitals for many years and know the U. of S. neighborhood well. You know his history and temperament better than anyone, but certainly kids away at school for the first time may not be in tune with the many clues you've trained yourself to recognize over the years, so I'd encourage him to err on the side of caution.
posted by cocoagirl at 7:10 PM on September 3, 2012

Thank you all for your good advice and wishes. He ended up going to Moses Taylor and is already back in his dorm. Rope-rider, you are quite right about the difficulty of the transition to adulthood. I ultimately left the decision in his hands which is why he didn't go until much later... after he finished his physics homework.

The upshot is that he is already back in his dorm. I'm not sure about the care he received (in and out in less than an hour?), but he is in charge. He's going to pay attention overnight and head to health services in the morning.

I'll spare you the details regarding why he doesn't have a pulmonologist right now, but he was under excellent care for years until this summer. We were remiss in finding a new doctor because he's been asymptomatic for more than two years.
posted by Breav at 7:29 PM on September 3, 2012

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