It was an unfortunate accident that turned the Fegraus family’s life upside-down. Over breakfast one morning, nine-month old Emma accidentally pulled a cup full of scalding hot tea onto her chest and lap. “I was terrified,” said her mother, Laura.
Emma was rushed to the emergency room at Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center, where, thankfully, her injuries were deemed non-life threatening. As soon as she was discharged the next morning, Emma’s pediatrician, Richard Dow, MD, quickly made arrangements for renowned burn specialist, Clyde Ikeda, MD based at Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco Medical Center to care for her in the crucial days following the accident.
On the first trip from their home in San Rafael to see Dr. Ikeda, the Fegraus family quickly realized how time-consuming it would be to meet with Dr. Ikeda for all of Emma’s follow-up appointments. “It was stressful because we had an infant with an injury in the car,” said Laura.
At the end of their first visit, Dr. Ikeda suggested video visits as an alternative going forward. Through secure video conferencing between Dr. Ikeda’s office computer and Laura’s smartphone, Dr. Ikeda could check in on Emma, examine her wounds, and give instructions to her parents on when and how to change her dressings. They were also advised to see Dr. Ikeda in person if they ever felt the need.
“Even though I’m not in the same room as the patient, the level of clinical quality isn’t compromised,” said Dr. Ikeda.
“If we didn’t have the video visit option, the cost to my family would have been tremendous,” Laura reflected. Thanks to the convenience of being able to visit with Dr. Ikeda over video before leaving for work in the morning, the overall impact on their daily lives was minimal. “It took a terrible accident and made it something we could manage as a family. We’re grateful the opportunity was given to us with Emma.”
Emma healed quickly and uneventfully, and is back up and running, keeping up with her big brother, Ben.