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news News Monday, February 12, 2018 Monday, February 12, 2018 6:44 PM - Monday, February 12, 2018 6:44 PM

The Spokane Shriners Hospital has seen over 5,000 fractures in fracture clinic

The Spokane Shriners Hospital has seen over 5,000 fractures in fracture clinic

Five thousand! That number can seem small out of context. If we’re talking about the cost of a brand new car, for instance, it seems like a great deal. No restaurant chain advertises “over 5,000 hamburgers served.” When you think of 5,000 individual stories about a dramatic impact on someone’s life however, the number seems to grow exponentially. The Spokane Shriners Hospital recently saw its 5,000th patient in its Urgent Pediatric Fracture Clinic. Let’s look at just one of the stories this clinic has been part of.

Ari was a 5-year-old boy. He was visiting family with his mom and dad over the 4th of July weekend, staying in a rural cabin. As the long weekend was coming to a close on Monday, Ari had an accidental fall, severely fracturing his arm. Ari and his mom, Kathryn, were rushed to the nearest emergency room where X-rays confirmed the nature of the fracture. The medical providers decided to set the break manually, a process known as a closed reduction. Considering the lack of pain medication of any kind, this procedure is not one a mother would wish upon her child – to say the least.

Luckily, Kathryn had an ace up her sleeve. She knew of the Urgent Pediatric Fracture Clinic at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Spokane. Armed with the prerequisite X-ray documentation confirming the fracture, Kathryn and Ari walked in just before 7:30 the next morning. The pediatric orthopaedic specialists wasted no time in scheduling Ari for surgery to repair the fracture the same day!

“The fracture clinic was started to allow immediate access to the hospital’s orthopaedic medical staff. Our referring providers appreciate the easy access for their patients. Our families appreciate the expedited specialty care. We are about four years in now and each subsequent year we have seen a 20 to 30 percent increase in the volume of kids. In our biggest week last year, we saw 55 new fracture patients – which included 22 fractures on one day!”, says Bryan Tompkins, M.D., pediatric orthopaedic surgeon.

Weeks later, Kathryn told Ari it was time to go back to the hospital to remove the cast. Ari asked through tear-filled eyes which hospital they were going to. Those tears turned into a wide grin when he found out it would be the Shriners Hospital.

So, while a fast-food chain may not think the number 5,000 is all that significant, we have 4,999 more stories similar to this one that say otherwise. This is a milestone we’re proud of. We are grateful to have been able to impact these stories positively and we are moved when one of our kids says “This is MY Shriners!”

Pictured: Recreational therapy /child life is just one of many departments working fluidly together for the unparalleled success of the Spokane Shriners Hospital's fracture clinic.