Last summer, Collingswood resident Jo Anne Romano and her family were getting ready to go on their first vacation since the birth of her second child, three-month-old Emilia, when she noticed that something wasn’t right with her daughter.
“Emilia was extremely fussy and suffering from a low-grade fever. I knew something was wrong,” Romano said. “I called our pediatrician, who examined Emilia and suggested she might have a urinary tract infection (UTI).”
When Emilia’s UTI diagnosis was confirmed, her pediatrician ordered tests, including a Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG), to determine if there were any abnormalities in her urinary tract that could be causing her to have a UTI at such a young age.
A VCUG is an X-ray examination of a child’s bladder and lower urinary tract that uses a special form of X-ray called fluoroscopy and a contrast material. The bladder is filled via a catheter and then emptied of a water-soluble dye, allowing radiologists to easily view the bladder and determine the problem.
“I was apprehensive about the procedure right from the start because of how young Emilia was at the time,” Romano said. “I just wanted everything to go smoothly.”
Already nervous on the day of the scheduled appointment at a local community hospital, Romano brought her daughter into the exam room and discovered that a nurse was initiating the VCUG procedure. With no doctor in sight, the nurse tried several times unsuccessfully to properly insert the catheter. Seeing the discomfort her daughter was in, Romano refused to allow the examination to go any further, and she left the hospital with her daughter.
“It was very disappointing,” Romano said. “You’re supposed to be able to feel confident taking your child to a doctor knowing that she is in good care and getting the proper treatment, yet I felt completely frustrated that they were unable to perform what I thought was considered a routine procedure.”
After the failed attempt, Romano was referred to Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper. Cooper is an advanced pediatric medical center, with the only two fellowship-trained Pediatric Radiologists in the South Jersey region—Emily D. Scattergood, MD, and Thomas J. Presenza, DO.
“Children are not always easy to read. Unlike adults, they are unable to describe their injury or the pain they may be feeling as easily or accurately, making it harder for us to make a proper diagnosis,” Dr. Scattergood said. “Sometimes, in order to find the problem, we must take a good look inside your child’s body. The equipment available in the radiology department at Children’s Regional Hospital allows us to do so.”
Romano made an appointment with Dr. Scattergood, Head of Pediatric Imaging at Cooper. Dr. Scattergood was immediately able to insert the catheter and complete the VCUG procedure, enabling Emilia to be properly diagnosed and treated for Vesicoureteral Reflux Disorder (the backward flow of urine from the bladder into the kidneys).
“Dr. Scattergood was absolutely wonderful,” Romano said. “She was extremely supportive and informative. She explained the process step-by-step as she was doing it and was very gentle with Emilia.”
Today, Romano says she is glad to have learned about the quality of care available from the specially trained pediatric radiologists at Cooper, and pleased to report that her daughter Emilia is now a healthy, happy and vibrant 14-month-old.
About Cooper’s Pediatric Radiologists
Using imaging techniques and equipment, Cooper’s Pediatric Radiologists are able to perform digital X-rays, fluoroscopy, computed tomography scans (CT), ultrasounds and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). All of the equipment is specifically designed to adapt to the needs of children. Currently, Cooper is in the process of developing a new pediatric MRI suite that will be “child friendly” and concentrate on easing the uncertainty and anxiety of the children, therefore producing better images and a more accurate diagnosis. The room will be specifically designed for children and housed with video capabilities that create a relaxed environment, and entertain the child during the procedure.
Along with Cooper’s main hospital location in Camden, our Pediatric Radiologists can also read films from Cooper’s out-patient radiology centers in Voorhees and Cherry Hill.
Dr. Scattergood has been named a “Top Doc for Kids” by SJ Magazine, “Top Children’s Physician” by South Jersey Magazine and “Next Generation of Great Philadelphia Doctors” by Philadelphia magazine.