Pediatric Emergency Department and Inpatient Services

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Recently, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center consolidated our pediatric emergency services into our main emergency department, where our young patients will continue to receive pediatric emergency care. We remain committed to treating pediatric patients in the emergency department, and will continue to call upon the expertise of the staff pediatricians working there. Below you will find the answers to several questions that have been asked most frequently regarding this change to our pediatric services.

Q: What changes are taking place?

A: MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center has integrated our pediatric emergency department with our main emergency department and closed our inpatient pediatric unit.


Q: How can I be sure my child will get the same quality care in the hospital’s emergency department after these changes?

A: MedStar Franklin Square will continue to provide pediatric emergency care to the community. The integration of pediatric care delivery with the main Emergency Department is consistent with how pediatric emergency care is delivered in other large MedStar Emergency Departments and in communities nationwide: a single ED treats both pediatric and adult patients. The  MedStar Franklin Square ED is staffed by doctors who are either pediatricians or emergency medicine-trained physicians able to treat both children and adults.

All physicians in the MedStar Franklin Square ED receive training in pediatric care as part of their emergency medicine training. There are two full-time emergency physicians who are dual board certified in both emergency medicine and pediatrics along with other emergency medicine physicians trained in pediatric emergency care.   Our focus is to team pediatricians with those emergency medicine trained physicians together to care for our pediatric patients in the emergency department.


Q: Will my child need to wait among the sick in the emergency department waiting room?

A: No, our pediatric waiting area is separate from the adult emergency department waiting room. This allows children and their families to be comfortably separated from the adult waiting area.


Q: What about pediatric surgeries?

A: We will continue to provide outpatient surgery as we have done historically. Ultimately, your surgeon determines where the surgery should be performed (e.g. hospital, ambulatory surgery center), and we encourage you to talk to your surgeon.


Q: What will happen if my child needs inpatient care?

A: If a child needs inpatient hospitalization after being seen at MedStar Franklin Square’s emergency department, we will assist in having them safely transferred to one of the several Baltimore-area hospitals with a pediatric inpatient unit (PICU).  We have experience in this kind of transfer, since for years, we have been transferring children requiring a higher level of pediatric treatment. Some of these transfers were done because MedStar Franklin Square does not  have a PICU.


Q: What if an outpatient surgical procedure requires an inpatient stay?

A: Rarely, but sometimes, an outpatient surgical procedure requires an unanticipated admission. In those rare cases when this occurs with a pediatric outpatient surgery, we will coordinate the safe transfer of the child to one of the hospitals that maintains a pediatric inpatient unit. Before any transfer, MedStar Franklin Square will ensure the child is stable and safe for transfer.


Q: Is the hospital going to continue to provide other pediatric services?

A: In addition to continuing to see children in our ED, MedStar Franklin Square will continue to maintain serving our pediatric patients in the following areas:

  • Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU)
  • Newborn Nursery Care
  • Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Services
  • Pediatric Primary Care
  • Pediatric Primary Care through our Family Health Center
  • Ambulatory Pediatric Surgery
  • Children’s Sports Medicine

Q: Will this change affect infants or the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)?

A: No. The change will not affect infants in the Mother/Baby unit or the NICU. MedStar Franklin Square does not have a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) so children requiring intensive care will continue to be transferred to other hospitals.


Q: Will MedStar Sports Medicine still cover the sport events at my child’s school?

A: MedStar Sports Medicine will continue covering sport events at schools. The consolidation of our adult and pediatric emergency departments, along with the closure of our inpatient pediatric department may change the scope and manner in which we provide emergency and inpatient care, but we remain committed to providing medical treatment and quality care to our pediatric patients.


Q: If my pediatrician leaves MedStar and I don’t want to see other pediatricians in the practice, how can I get my child’s medical records?

A: As we do when any physician departs, we are communicating to those patients who may be affected. Our goal is to either transition your child to another MedStar Franklin Square pediatrician or family medicine physician. If you would rather seek care from a physician outside of the practice, you may request that we transfer your child’s medical record to another provider. To request a copy of your child’s medical records online please use this form.

(Please note: There is a cost for delivery, unless the records are being sent to a physician or healthcare facility for continuing care purposes.) Questions about medical concerns must be answered by your physician.