All media inquiries and requests for media interviews, patient information or hospital information are coordinated through the SickKids Communications & Public Affairs team.
Media relations policies
As a publicly funded health-care institution, SickKids is committed to keeping the public informed about the organization’s activities, while also upholding our responsibility to protect the privacy and confidentiality of our patients, families and staff.
All SickKids-related inquiries from news media and external organizations must go through Communications & Public Affairs. These may include requests for information, photos or videos, podcasts, as well as interviews with staff, volunteers, patients and families (onsite or virtual).
Members of the media who wish to come to the SickKids campus must submit requests to the Communications & Public Affairs team in advance. Consideration will be given to the scope of the requested visit (including photo/video shoots), potential disruption to clinical or research activities, and any other relevant factors that may impact SickKids operations at the time of the request.
A representative from Communications & Public Affairs must accompany all members of the media and photography/film crews while at SickKids.
Release of patient information
SickKids is committed to the privacy of our patients, families and staff. All media inquiries pertaining to patients at SickKids – including patient information, condition reports, interviews with patients, families and/or the patient’s clinical team – must be directed to Communications & Public Affairs. Information will not be released without express consent from the patient and/or the patient’s parent or legal guardian.
Patient condition report definitions
If consent has been given, a one-word condition report may be released to media. All North American hospitals use the same one-word condition reports:
- Good: Vital signs such as pulse, temperature and blood pressure are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious and comfortable. The outlook for recovery is good to excellent and the patient may soon be discharged.
- Fair: Vital signs give no cause for concern, but the patient may be uncomfortable or have minor complications. The patient is conscious, and has a favourable outlook.
- Serious: Acutely ill, but improvement is possible. Vital signs may be unstable or not within normal limits (if appropriate, patient may be described as “serious, but stable”).
- Critical: Questionable outlook. Vital signs are unstable or not within normal limits. There are major complications; death may be imminent.
Communications & Public Affairs contacts
Communications & Public Affairs Department
Nelson Paiva, Communications Coordinator
Media inquiries should be directed to:
Senior Communications Advisor
Senior Communications Advisor
Manager, External Communications
Outside of regular business hours or on weekends/holidays:
Phone SickKids Locating at 416-813-7500 to have a member of Communications & Public Affairs paged.
Our latest news
July 23, 2021
Scientists from Sinai Health and SickKids have identified three subtypes of leiomyosarcoma, or LMS, a sarcoma common in adults, and found evidence its origins begin years prior to diagnosis.
July 19, 2021
Science Brief created by SickKids, CHEO, Science Table and other Ontario hospitals provides guidance on COVID-19 mitigation measures for a return to in-person school in September 2021.
July 8, 2021
Some findings are not yet peer-reviewed; point to urgent need to prioritize child and youth mental and physical health during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.