Ontario hospitals asked to treat kids 14+ who need ICU care as pressures mount on pediatric hospitals


The head of Ontario’s important care COVID-19 command centre has asked the province’s hospitals that treat adults to additionally settle for kids 14 and older in need of intensive care to relieve strain on pediatric hospitals.

Surgeries could need to be cancelled as a end result, Dr. Andrew Baker wrote to hospital CEOs in a memo.

Baker mentioned the strikes are being made due to the “present and impending surge in pediatric important care demand.”

“It is anticipated that the subsequent two to three months will carry considerably elevated calls for for pediatric important care help that shall be sustained and characterised by unplanned surges which will happen with very brief lead time,” Baker wrote within the Wednesday memo.

Baker, the pinnacle of Ontario’s important care COVID-19 command centre, additionally asked hospitals to maximize intensive care capability to assist relieve the burdens on emergency departments.

“The Ontario Critical Care COVID-19 Command Centre is requesting that individuals aged 14 and over requiring important care (within the context of a directive or not) are managed in grownup important care beds,” Baker wrote.

“There could also be some exceptions to be evaluated on a case-by-case foundation.”

The Minister of Health didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

‘Unprecedented’ variety of ER arrivals

At Toronto’s SickKids Hospital, president and CEO Dr. Ronald Cohn says there’s already an “unprecedented” quantity of kids arriving on the emergency room, some who need to be admitted to common wards and others who need intensive care.

Cohn instructed CBC News kids are arriving with numerous respiratory situations — with solely a fraction stemming from COVID-19.

“There’s no query that the strain on the healthcare system and particularly the pediatric healthcare system will proceed to enhance over the subsequent few weeks,” he mentioned, pleading with everybody to get their flu shot and COVID-19 booster doses as quickly as potential. 

At Toronto’s SickKids, president and CEO Dr. Ronald Cohn says there’s already an unprecedented variety of kids arriving on the emergency room needing remedy. (Carlos Osorio/CBC)

The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario says it too seeing a surge in younger sufferers with respiratory infections that has put it nicely over capability and resulted in “traditionally lengthy” wait instances.

Tammy DeGiovanni, senior vice chairman of medical providers with CHEO, mentioned Thursday that though “each little bit helps,” the choice to handle teenage sufferers in grownup important care beds is unlikely to cut back the affected person burden.

The hospital sat at round 160 per cent capability on Thursday, she mentioned, and each a type of sufferers was 5 years outdated or youthful. The “overwhelming majority” of these, she added, are underneath the age of two.

“We actually need to do what we are able to to take care of these kids right here as a result of we actually aren’t in a position to ship them wherever else,” she mentioned.

Requests to be reviewed each 2 weeks

A variety of kids’s hospitals in Ontario have mentioned lately they’re being overwhelmed with kids needing intensive care.

There are 107 kids in important care throughout the province, solely 4 with COVID-19.

Baker needs hospitals to “proactively create and maintain extra capability in grownup important care.”

He additionally needs hospitals to “be out there to reply inside 24 hours to directives” from the command centre.

“We anticipate that (the request) could require hospitals to handle their assets and will end result within the need to ramp down surgical/procedural volumes,” Baker wrote.

Baker mentioned the requests are short-term and correspond with the “predicted surge interval” and shall be reviewed each two weeks.


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