Professor Hermann Josef Girschick: Sending in the clowns in Friedrichshain – paediatric care of the highest standard

Headed by Professor Girschick, the Vivantes Children's Hospital in Friedrichshain provides an extensive range of medical services, ranging from care for premature babies born at 25 weeks and vaccinations to treatment for irritable hip and butterfly rash.

The hospital runs a perinatal centre offering the highest level of obstetrics care at a neonatal intensive care unit, a social paediatrics centre for children from across Germany, general paediatric treatment for inpatients and outpatients and many other specialist paediatric units, such as paediatric rheumatology, a centre for haemophilia and a sleep laboratory for children.

Wide range of treatment for young patients in central Berlin

The hospital looks after sick children of all ages, from new-born babies to young adults. “Our areas of focus are paediatric nephrology and urology, paediatric gastroenterology, diseases affecting the immune system in general, including a weakened immune system, rheumatic diseases and haematological diseases,” explains Senior Consultant Professor Hermann Girschick.

The perinatal centre at the Children's Hospital offers all types of birthing options as well as the appropriate types of anaesthetic. Diffcult births and the resulting problems for newborn babies are addressed using the latest therapies (e.g. therapeutic hypothermia, various advisory strategies). Neonatal intensive care is provided by a diligent interdisciplinary team of highly experienced doctors and nurses.

A stay in hospital can be very upsetting for small children – and for their parents – who are not used to being away from home for a long period. That is why treating patients in the day clinic, social paediatrics centre and outpatient clinic are particularly important and why follow-up care is provided on an outpatient basis.

If children require a longer hospital stay due to an operation, they can benefit from a ‘clown appointment`. A hospital clown comes to visit young patients to distract them from any pain or homesickness they may be feeling.

Popular hospital for international patients

The hospital's central location in Berlin also attracts patients from outside Germany explains Professor Girschick: “Many of our young patients are from immigrant families who predominantly originate from the Mediterranean, Middle East and countries of the former Soviet Union.”

Support from and collaboration with Vivantes International Medicine enables the hospital to advise, diagnose and offer specialist therapy to international patients with severe chronic illnesses – including by deploying interpreters.

Cutting-edge diagnostics and therapy concepts for children

The Children's Hospital employs the latest diagnostic techniques such as ultrasound technology for the heart, abdomen and urinary system, as well as other diagnostic technologies, e.g. endoscopy for the gastrointestinal tract and airways. ECGs, EEGs, lung function tests, gastrointestinal provocation tests and helicobacter examinations are also available to test the body's functions. The hospital cooperates with the institute for diagnostic and interventional radiology to offer all state-of-the-art imaging examinations for children, including PET-CT scans. Specialist support from paediatric anaesthetists is often provided, especially for younger patients. Close professional collaboration with colleagues specialising in neurosurgery, ENT, musculoskeletal surgery, urology, abdominal surgery and paediatric surgery enables children to benefit from the latest surgical therapies after their diagnosis. At the Vivantes Hospital in Friedrichshain there is a strong focus on working as one interdisciplinary team, with colleagues able to contact each other quickly and directly.

The Children's Hospital, with Senior Consultant Professor Girschick at its helm, also offers numerous specialist consultations, such as for haemophilia, paediatric urology, paediatric gastroenterology, rheumatology, immunology and paediatric nephrology plus a sleep laboratory catering specifi cally for children and young adults.