Pediatric Hospital Medicine

What is a Pediatric Hospitalist?
When your child is sick and needs to be admitted to the hospital, they are going to be cared for by a Pediatric Hospitalist. A Pediatric Hospitalist is a physician whose expertise lies in the care of sick children who are admitted to the hospital. Over the last 10-20 years, it has become increasingly clear that in order to take excellent care of children in the hospital, the providers caring for these children need to possess a specialized set of skills; skills focused solely on the inpatient management of pediatric illnesses, which are distinct from those skills that allow us to take excellent care of children in the outpatient/clinic setting. So when your child is admitted to Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Pediatric Inpatient Unit, you know that a physician who specializes exclusively in the management of hospitalized children will care for them. 
Here are several common pediatric illnesses/conditions that we care for:
  • Respiratory Illnesses (Asthma, Bronchiolitis, Pneumonia)
  • Hyperbilirubinemia
  • Infant Fever
  • Abscesses/Cellulitis
  • Gastroenteritis/Dehydration
  • Diabetes
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Failure to Thrive/Poor Weight Gain
When the care of your child necessitates the involvement of other Pediatric Specialists, we will work collaboratively with these specialists in order to provide your child with top-level care. Some of the specialties with whom we work include:
  • Pediatric Infectious Disease
  • Pediatric Gastroenterology
  • Pediatric Cardiology
  • Pediatric Endocrinology
  • Pediatric Neurology
  • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • Pediatric Surgery
In addition, we serve as a source of pediatric expertise in the care of all children hospitalized under the care of the various surgical subspecialties, and we will work with these surgeons to help provide the best pediatric-focused care for your child. Some of these surgical subspecialties include:
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Urologic Surgery
  • Trauma Surgery
  • Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Surgery
  • Plastic Surgery
So, if your child is admitted to the Pediatric Inpatient Unit at EMMC, you can be certain that his/her care is being directed by physicians with specialized expertise in the comprehensive care of hospitalized children.

Services Provided

The Department of Pediatric Surgery at Eastern Maine Medical Center is located on the EMMC campus in Bangor, Maine. Our service treats children of all ages from premature infants to children up to 19 years of age. Our skilled and experienced surgical team provides personal and compassionate care for all surgical issues in childhood.

Services Provided

As the tertiary referral center for North and Eastern Maine, EMMC and the Department of Pediatric Surgery provide comprehensive Neonatal, In-Patient and Outpatient services for any surgical issue that may you and your child may encounter.
To help your child and your family, we provide:
  • Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Pediatric Trauma Care
  • General Pediatric Surgical Care
  • Pediatric Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Pediatric Surgical Oncology
  • Pediatric Urology


For an appointment please contact our office at (207) 973-8853

Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm 
For the safety and security of our patients, we use Safe Place®, a state of the art security system that uses transmitter bands to control unauthorized departure of patients from the unit while allowing open access for staff and visitors. The doors to our unit are always closed, but are not locked.

Every patient under age 12 will be fitted with an ankle or wrist band that has a transmitter inside. If a patient gets too close to a protected doorway, the door will automatically lock. If a patient passes through a protected doorway or if an ankle or wrist band is tampered with, an alarm will sound.
EMMC's Pediatric Sedation Program is an integrated clinical service aimed at reducing the pain and stress associated with children's medical care. Children who must undergo uncomfortable or stressful procedures are able to receive special attention and/or medicines to make their overall experience more pleasant.

EMMC's Pediatric Sedation Program is a unique service, unlike any other you'll find in the region.

The Pediatric Sedation Team understands that procedures may not only be painful, but quite scary to children.

MRIs, spinal taps, and tooth extractions are examples of the types of procedures in which our program participates. We take a proactive, customized approach to reducing pain and stress, combining technology and medicine with other behavioral methods for making a child's experience as positive as possible.

What is pediatric sedation?

At EMMC, pediatric sedation is more than just "going to sleep." Our Pediatric Sedation Team, comprised of a team of pediatric intensivists, child life specialists, and pediatric nurses and technicians, works with each child and his or her parents to create a sedation program that is comfortable, safe, and effective.

The Pediatric Sedation Team frequently uses medications for relaxation and pain relief, adjusted for a child's unique needs and tolerances. The medicines we use generally work quickly with few side effects and provide for fast recovery. We combine this with relaxation and distraction techniques and methods of numbing the skin so that the pain of the IV needle is lessened. The entire process is customized for each individual child based on his or her medical history and an assessment by the Pediatric Sedation Team and Child Life Specialist.

Factors that are considered when determining if sedation is right for you include your child's age, the procedure being performed, and the complexity of your child's underlying medical condition. Sedation is not right for every child in every situation. EMMC's Pediatric Sedation Program is proud of its individualized approach to care, and will work with you and your child's doctor to determine if and when sedation is necessary.

How to make sedation easier for your child

  • Ask questions and allow your child to ask questions/ Medical procedures can be scary, especially when you do not understand what is being done and why. Encourage your child to ask the doctor, nurse, or child life specialist about what will happen.
  • It can be difficult to watch your child go through a procedure. Parents frequently have worries and we will offer plenty of time to address questions and concerns. Please be careful about expressing your worries to your child. Adult fears are often very different from those of a child. The biggest fear a child may have is whether or not they can bring their teddy bear to the hospital!
  • Speaking of teddy bears, feel free to bring a comfort object from home. A beloved stuffed animal, blanket, toy or book may be calming to your child.
  • Join our team! As a parent, you know your child best. You can provide us with insights about your child's fears, what will work best, and other things that will be helpful for us to know

What to expect when your child is being sedated

  • Pre-registration will call to confirm your appointment and your insurance information.
  • A member of the Pediatric Sedation Team will call you one to three days before the procedure to discuss your child's medical history and review diet guidelines. If you will not be home between 8am and 4pm, please call 973-7373 for other arrangements.
  • Before giving your child anything to eat or drink on the day of the procedure, make sure you have received the proper guidelines regarding your child's diet. If these guidelines are not followed, the procedure may need to be rescheduled.
  • On the day of the procedure, please bring your child to the PICU on the eighth floor at EMMC, where the sedation team will begin its evaluation.
  • An intravenous line (IV) is generally needed to give sedation for the procedure. When you arrive in the PICU, a numbing cream will be placed on your child's skin to lessen the discomfort of the IV placement.
  • child life specialist will be available to help lessen the anxiety and provide distraction.
  • When the IV placement is completed, your child can choose a prize from our toy box.
  • Parents typically stay with their child until the child is asleep. Your child will be placed on a monitor and watched closely by a member of the team during the entire procedure. The IV will be removed soon after the procedure is done.
  • Some procedures are done in the PICU. If your child's procedure is done in another EMMC department, he/she will return to the PICU for recovery.
  • Typically, children wake up very rapidly and are able to eat and drink within minutes.
The Pediatric Sedation Team is comprised of a pediatric intensivist, a child life specialist, a pediatric registered nurse, and a certified nursing assistant.

More About In-Patient Pediatric

Child Life Specialists in both inpatient and outpatient settings help to create an environment which feels safe for children to express their fears and their concerns. These specially trained staff are available to accompany children off the units when they need tests or procedures, and are part of the treatment team combining skilled care and special attention to the healing power of play

A Focus on Children

In addition to these special child-focused areas of the hospital, EMMC pediatric staff and staff in other areas have developed kid-friendly approaches to care all over the medical center. Children who must undergo certain uncomfortable procedures are able to receive specially administered medicines to make their experience more pleasant. EMMC's pediatric conscious sedation protocol is a unique and important service not available at most hospitals in the region.

When a child is in need of emergency care, specially trained staff care for them in the Emergency Department working with families to minimize fear and discomfort. Whether it's preoperative care, rehabilitation therapies, special imaging, or any other location, EMMC caregivers are trained to pay special attention and respond to the special needs of these small patients.

Moreover, EMMC provides the services of the Family Support Team. This group comprised of social workers and a physician are specially trained to intervene on behalf of children at risk of abuse or neglect. Working in both the inpatient and outpatient settings, and the Emergency Department, this team of professionals is available to support families at risk and to respond to protect the health and welfare of the young.
Spending time with your hospitalized child is important to his or her recovery. The nursing staff relies on your assistance in providing care to your child, so we encourage you to stay with your child during the entire hospitalization. A day bed is provided for your comfort. We also understand that you need information, support, reassurance, and "down time.”

Our nurses will assist you in determining what visiting pattern best suits your child's needs and care.
  • To prevent the spread of disease, anyone with a contagious illness such as chicken pox, flu, fever, or a cold will not be permitted to visit the floor.
  • All children under age 12 need to stop at the desk to have their temperature taken before visiting patients.
  • All visiting children under the age of 16 must be accompanied and supervised by an adult during the entire visit.
  • Please do not bring in latex balloons during your child's stay. Mylar balloons, plants, flowers, stuffed animals, and other gifts are welcomed.
  • Please do not open the windows in patient rooms, as dust and other airborne particles can be harmful to sick patients.
Pediatric patients order meals using room service from 7 am - 7 pm. Ask your nurse for our menu of “kid friendly favorites,” and call ext. 38245 to order. The patient’s meal will be delivered within 45 minutes. You can also place an order in advance to be delivered at a specific time.

The cafeteria, The Maine Café, is located on Penobscot Pavilion 2 and is open from 6 am - 2 am offering a variety of hot foods, sandwiches, a salad bar, and more. For more information about The Maine Café, click here.

For families visiting pediatric patients, feel free to bring food back to your child's room. If you do, please be sure to ask for disposable paper products. The family kitchen is also available on Grant 8. You are welcome to use the refrigerator and stove to prepare meals for yourself or for your child. Please label any food items you store in the refrigerator with your name and the date they were placed in the refrigerator.
Just like a car engine needs gas to run, your body needs food to give you the energy to study, play and grow, and for your organs to be able to work properly. But eating the right kind of food is important to ensure good health. This means eating the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals and yes, unsaturated fats.

Eating too much of any of these food elements, especially fats and carbohydrates (which convert in your body to sugar), can have bad effects like clogging your arteries with fatty deposits that will prevent blood from reaching your heart and brain and kidneys in the right amount and with the right amount of oxygen. Over time, this can lead to heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other really bad conditions. The trick is to keep the right balance.

The food pyramid is a visual way to guide how to stay in balance in our eating. The foods at the top of the pyramid contain too much sugar, too much saturated fat, and too much salt. You should eat less of these items and eat them less often. In contrast, the foods at the bottom are the ones you should eat more of and eat them more often.

Remember that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it gives your body the energy it needs for school, it helps burn fat that is stored, and it helps keep you from overeating or eating junk food at night. Eat breakfast every day!!

Another important part of eating a balanced, healthy is quantity. Does your plate overflow with food? Are your portions really big? That’s a problem. Next time you sit down to eat dinner, check it out. Divide your plate into quarters. If you’re eating a healthy diet, you should have half the plate filled with fruits or veggies, and only one quarter should hold protein (meat, chicken, fish) and one quarter should hold bread, rice, pasta or potato.