16:09 PM

'This Teamwork Is Why This Patient Made It Through"

How this life-saving story epitomizes Cook Children's culture


A letter written by Michelle Marcincuk, M.D., medical director of the ENT department at Cook Children's.

Last night we had a patient come in through the ER with a serious and life-threatening airway problem. This was probably the most difficult airway I have had in 20 years of practice.

This patient went from the ER to the OR, to the CT scanner, and then to the PICU. 

This was a very high stakes, tenuous situation and I want to commend everyone  involved in helping to get this child taken care of:

  • ER: The ER nurse was very helpful and got the patient ready for the OR in record time and the ER doctor readily recognized the seriousness of the situation without delay. 
  • CT: The CT tech accommodated our stat request for a CT to be done immediately upon leaving the OR.
  • PICU: The PICU team was ready and waiting for us upon our arrival and jumped right in to get this child settled in the PICU with her tenuous airway. 
  • OR: The entire team, from the preop nurses to the anesthesia techs worked seamlessly. We had so much help in the OR and everyone was jumping in where they were needed to help out. They retrieved countless sets for me that I had not anticipated needing and therefore had not asked for. I think every person working last night was in our room helping out - nurses, CST, anesthesia techs. We had 2 fabulous CRNAs helping us. the CSTs were working like a bucket brigade retrieving equipment and helping me with the procedure. When went to the PICU, the OR staff continued to help by bringing down a scope and some equipment we needed to re-secure the ETT. They stayed until the patient was fully tucked in.

There is no way I can mention everyone by name because there were just too many people helping; and quite frankly, in some cases, people jumped in without even being asked, and in the case of the ER nurse, she was so quick in prepping this patient that I did not even have time to get her name. Drs. (Jose Olarte-Motta) and (Chandra Reynolds) were the PICU M.D and MDA involved and I am eternally grateful to them. 

This team is why I work here. This teamwork is why I think Cook Children's is the best hospital in the world. This teamwork is why this patient made it through this situation. This team epitomizes Cook Children's Culture. And I want every person involved in this child's care to know that they made a difference for me, and more importantly for the patient. 

She is alive because of them. 

Thank you,

Michelle Marcincuk

Elevating Every Experience
This story from Dr. Marcincuk is a great example of our team experience. If you have a great story about your experience, we want to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.. Our October Town Hall focused on "Elevating Every Experience." This is something we can all do right now. Connect, collaborate and elevate experiences for our patients and each other, We do this through our focus on the patient and family experience, the team experience and the quality and safety experience. When we tether these three experiences together, we create a bond that will be strong enough to get us up any mountain together," said Rick W. Merrill, Cook Children's president and CEO. 
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