Valley's First Designated Pediatric Medical Center!
Los Angeles County has designated Northridge Hospital as a Pediatric Medical Center (PMC) because we provide a higher level of care for critically ill pediatric patients. This status also affirms that we have:
- An emergency department capable of managing complex pediatric emergencies
- Children no longer need to be transported further away to other specialty centers
- A Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
- Physicians with pediatric specialties and subspecialties who are trained to address children's unique medical needs
- Outreach educational programs for our community
Complementing this status is our Richie Pediatric Trauma Center. This team responds immediately to treat children within the Platinum 30 Minutes ... known as the first half hour after injury that increases a child’s chance of survival. Our PMC designation supports Los Angeles County’s goal to transport 9-1-1 patients to the right place the first time.
Richie Pediatric Trauma Center
Traumatic injuries are the leading cause of death and disability in children, making immediate, life-saving medical care crucial. Northridge Hospital's Level II Pediatric Trauma Center is the only facility in the San Fernando Valley that provides immediate care to infants, children and adolescents with life-threatening traumatic injuries 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
We were also voted "Best Pediatric Care" by the readers of the Daily News.
Our Pediatric Trauma Center is just the right size for children with the technology necessary to quickly and accurately assess a child’s condition and provide immediate treatment. On arrival, children can be treated in our resuscitation suite that is outfitted with specialized technology to effectively resuscitate young patients.
What Is a “Designated” Pediatric Trauma Center?
Pediatric Trauma designation verifies that Northridge Hospital has the clinical expertise, specialty pediatric staffing and technologically-advanced equipment needed to effectively resuscitate young patients regardless of age or body size. We have expert physicians in more than 20 subspecialties, which include emergency medicine, anesthesia, orthopedics and neurosurgery.
We also house the technologically-advanced equipment needed to effectively resuscitate patients regardless of age or body size—including laparoscopy and minimally invasive surgeries, in addition to resuscitation medications that are prepackaged in accurate unit doses for pediatric use.
We house an elite team of pediatric physician specialists in more than 20 subspecialties, which include emergency medicine, anesthesia, orthopedics and neurosurgery. In addition, we have available RN's, social workers, pharmacists, registered dieticians, occupational and physical therapists, speech-language pathologists and respiratory therapists who are all specialty trained in pediatric care. We also have school liaison staff who coordinate the educational needs of children during their hospital stay.
Injuries Cared for by the Pediatric Trauma Team
- Abdominal and chest injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Injuries to extremities
A Little More “TLC”
Our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Pediatrics Unit are staffed by pediatric surgeons and pediatric critical care specialists. The PICU is certified by the California Children's Services (CCS) and provides sick children with the highest level of intensive medial care.
Time Is Golden
When a child is injured, our Pediatric Trauma Team immediately activates to await the patient’s arrival. Our goal is to provide medical treatment within the Platinum 30 Minutes - known as the first critical half hour when treatment increases the chance of survival. (This critical time period is 60 minutes for adults—known as the Golden Hour—but is reduced to 30 minutes for a fragile child.)
Unfortunately, children injured locally have lost their lives during transport to Pediatric Trauma Centers outside of the San Fernando Valley. The Pediatric Trauma Center is named after Richie Alarcon – the infant son of District 7 Councilmember Richard Alarcon – who was traumatically injured in a vehicle accident. Richie’s transport out of the Valley extended beyond the Platinum 30 Minutes, and he died in his father’s arms the next day.
Shortly after, Alarcon (who was then a State Senator) introduced legislation to establish funding for Northridge Hospital’s Pediatric Trauma Center. He received help to get the bill passed from Senator Alex Padilla, 20th District, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, 3rd District.