SickKids Hospital in Toronto says it is preparing to open up its ICU to adults aged about 40 and younger as Ontario grapples with the pressure that COVID-19 cases have put on the health care system.
SickKids, which is primarily a hospital for children, said it has the capacity to treat adults because ICU admissions there have remained low.
The hospital is opening up an eight-bed unit to handle adult cases if other hospitals run out of space, it said.
“Patient transfers will only occur once certain hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area exhaust available capacity after activating their surge plans, and all potential transfers to neighbouring regions have been attempted,” the hospital said in a statement on its website.
Ontario ICU capacity reaching critical level due to COVID-19 variants: hospital group
“SickKids has the clinical expertise to care for adult patients, (and) the appropriate processes and protocols in place, including robust infection prevention and control measures, to ensure the safety of all patients, families and staff,” the hospital said.
“In addition, we have the physical capacity to accept these patients while minimizing disruption to the safe care of pediatric patients and hospital operations.”
On Tuesday, Ontario reported 1,161 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 510 patients in ICUs and 310 in ICUs on a ventilator.
The province has said that as a result of the new variants, hospitals are seeing younger people being admitted with serious illness as a result of COVID-19.
Several ICU doctors have said that they are seeing younger people on ventilators, including parents of school-aged children, and that entire families are ending up in their ICUs.
The recent increase of COVID-related ICU admissions has strained the adult health-care system, while ICU admissions at SickKids have remained low. As a result, we are preparing to open an eight-bed ICU for previously healthy adults with COVID-19, if needed https://t.co/VVXn5gDatn
— SickKids_TheHospital (@SickKidsNews) April 6, 2021
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