Search For Pediatric Neurologists

Reno (NV)

On News Four at Five we told you about a local family whose son became seriously ill with something called Guillain Barre Syndrome.
It is a serious auto-immune disease that affects the nervous system and can cause paralysis and even death if not treated quickly.
When he was taken to Renown Children's Emergency Room, a pediatric neurologist in town refused to consult with the ER doctor saying because he was not on call he would not consult on a new patient.
So what does that mean for children in the Reno-Sparks area when it comes to critical health care?
It's been a little over a month since Tripp William's parents took him to UC Davis Children's Hospital.

"I got more scared after all the doctors said, how did you not come here in an ambulance?that made me really scared."

With weakness and tingling throughout most of his body and no access to a specialist,
his parents felt like they had no choice but to take him out of the area for care.

"They did blood tests, a CAT scan, urine analysis and nothing came up, but obviously the ER doctor knew something was definitely wrong by watching Tripp walk, he could feel tingling and his voice was starting to change."

His condition can cause paralysis and problems breathing and in hindsight... his parents say they now know that a trip over the hill without a medical escort could have been deadly.

"We need to spend money on recruiting the professionals that we need here to ensure our children are taken care of."

The child neurology bench is very thin...we need some more players."

Dr John Rothrock is the medical director for Renowns Institute for Neurosciences.

He says they are working hard right now to bring pediatric neurologists to the area.

"We have three outstanding candidates we are looking at now. We are going to do everything we can to hire at least one as quickly as possible."

Rothrock says it's a supply and demand issue. There are not many physicians who specialize in pediatric neurology but many cities that need them.

"I can promise you and I made this commitment that in a very short period of time...we have the capacity at Renown Neurosciences Institute to take care of sick children 24/7."

Rothrock says the recent passing of pediatric neurologist Mindy Schwartz has made the situation more urgent because the patient load is simply too heavy for one or even two specialists to handle effectively.
In the meantime, he says if a situation arises that the ER cannot adequately handle, they will transport patients out of the area, but that is not the goal.. the goal is to be able to get that care here.