Stollery pediatric ICU to take critical adult patients as part of surge capacity reorganization

EDMONTON — The young patients of the Stollery Children’s Hospital’s ICU will be moved to a cardiac intensive care unit as the Edmonton medical zone works to find extra beds.

Alberta Health Services spokesperson Kerry Williamson said the children will receive the same care in the cardiac ICU, but that the move will mean they will no longer have private rooms.

Under current rules, that means only one essential visitor will be allowed with a child at a time and that there may not be a bed for parents to spend the night with their child.

“We acknowledge that this will be extremely difficult for some families, and we are truly sorry for the impact this decision may have. We will do all we can to accommodate one patient per room,” Williamson wrote in a statement to CTV News Edmonton.

The reorganization is the next step of surge capacity measures being implemented in the Edmonton medical zone, where post-operative rooms or other spaces are reassigned for critical care patients.

The first step was to maximize existing capacity and limit admissions by rescheduling surgeries were post-operative care in an ICU could be needed, AHS said.

Some pediatric cardiac surgeries are being postponed, Williamson added, but all urgent and emergent operations are going forward.

As of Saturday, Alberta saw its number of active cases fall for a fifth, straight day to 19,260 – the lowest since Dec. 5.

However, hospitalizations number 777 across the province; 151 of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are in ICUs.

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