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Apr 26, 2012 9:00 PM

E.R. staff impacted by water accidents

Tucson - Ask any doctor or nurse in the Tucson Medical Center pediatric emergency room they'll tell you, child drownings take a toll on more than just family. Hospital staff feel the agony and loss too, trying to bring the kids back. More often than not, they're picturing their own child lying on the stretcher.

Tammy Myers, a pediatric E.R. nurse at T.M.C, recalls a recent case that reminded her of her own son. "He had the same hair and same eyes and same big, round face, and it made me sad... I found out, after he passed, they also had the same name."

Statistics show, it is not uncommon to have more children die, in Arizona, than in car crashes. It happened in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2008, 25 children drowned statewide and 10 children were killed in car crashes. In 1009, 24 children drowned compared to the 20 who died in a traffic accident. In 2010, 22 Arizona children drowned compared to 19 kids who were killed in a crash.

Dr. Julie Klein tells Kristi's Kids, when a child is saved, there are often lasting effects. She estimates, "maybe a third of the near drownings that I have been involved with have life changing, long lasting problems."

Perhaps the hardest part is knowing that every case is 100% preventable. All it takes is a slip up. Nurse Myers tortures herself with the what if's. "(What) if the pool gate had been locked... If there was a fence around the pool... If someone was in charge of watching the child or paying attention. It's totally preventable.*

To learn more about T.M.C.'s water safety initiative, click here :


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