SickKids to accept adults with COVID as GTA ICU admissions surge

SickKids says it has been receiving pediatric patients from other hospitals for the past few months

The Toronto Sun April 7, 2021

Toronto SickKids Hospital in Toronto is shown on Thursday April 5, 2018. DOUG IVES / THE CANADIAN PRESS

SickKids Hospital in Toronto is opening up a special unit to accept younger adults with COVID-19 as regular hospital intensive care beds fill up with third wave patients.

A statement by SickKids says it has been receiving pediatric patients from other hospitals for the past few months.

ICU admissions at SickKids are low, so the hospital was asked to consider accepting some COVID-19 adult patients, the statement said.

“The recent increase of COVID-related ICU admissions has strained the adult health-care system,” the statement says. “As a result, SickKids is opening an eight-bed unit within the ICU for previously healthy adults (approximately 40 years old and under) with COVID-19. The eight-bed unit will be made available for adults if needed.”

Anthony Dale, president and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association, tweeted Wednesday that 501 intensive care beds hold COVID-19 patients, the highest occupancy level since the beginning of the pandemic.

If you’re not concerned, you’re not paying attention. Canada about to surpass USA in COVID cases per million. #canhealth #canpoli #onhealth #onpoli https://t.co/2CJclTG6UK — Anthony Dale (@AnthonyDaleOHA) April 7, 2021

“If you’re not concerned, you’re not paying attention. Canada about to surpass USA in COVID cases per million,” Dale tweeted.

The SickKids eight-bed unit will only be used if certain GTA hospitals run out of capacity after activating surge plans and if no other transfer options are available, the statement says.

“SickKids has the clinical expertise to care for adult patients, 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 statement says. “In addition, we have the physical capacity to accept these patients while minimizing disruption to the safe care of pediatric patients and hospital operations.”

aartuso@postmedia.com