SickKids preparing to receive admissions of younger adults with COVID-19 to ICU
Throughout the pandemic, SickKids has been working with regional hospital colleagues and systems partners to prepare for and accept patient transfers to ensure the delivery of timely, high-quality care. SickKids has been accepting paediatric patients from other hospitals for the past few months.
The recent increase of COVID-related Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admissions has strained the adult health-care system, while ICU admissions at SickKids have remained low. Therefore, SickKids was recently asked to consider admitting previously healthy adults (approximately 40 years old and under) with COVID-19 who require ICU admission from other hospitals.
After detailed discussions with key stakeholders and considerable preparation with various clinical teams, SickKids is preparing to open an eight-bed unit within its ICU for these patients, if needed. Patient transfers will only occur once certain hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) exhaust available capacity after activating their surge plans, and all potential transfers to neighbouring regions have been attempted.
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. In addition, we have the physical capacity to accept these patients while minimizing disruption to the safe care of paediatric patients and hospital operations.
SickKids is proud of the tremendous commitment and dedication of colleagues in adult hospitals across the province, and their heroic efforts in caring for those most affected by COVID-19 over the past year. Fortunately, children typically do not have severe cases of COVID-19, which has put SickKids in a position to help alleviate some of the pressures facing the adult ICU system.