Hospital for Sick Children preparing for "all scenarios"

Sick Kids

Some Toronto-area hospitals are having to scramble as the strain from COVID-19 increases.

The Toronto Star is reporting hospitals are needing to transfer pediatric in-patients to the Hospital for Sick Children as a way of freeing up space for adults needing treatment for the virus.

According to a directive seen by The Star, William Osler Health System, Humber River Hospital and Unity Health's St. Joseph's Health Centre have had to make the unprecedented move.

So far, between five and 10 pediatric patients have been transferred to sick kids, while the hospital says it's prepared to accept 50 60 children from Toronto-area hospitals."We're in a scenario that we, of course, didn't want to be in; we had hoped that there would not be a surge where adult medical care was so required," says Dr. Julia Orkin, a Sick Kids staff physician in pediatric medicine and medical officer of integrated community partnerships. "We are hopeful that within a short time we will see a reduction in bed needs and that we transition right back to where we were with community hospitals providing care for their patients closer to home."

The hospital has been planning for this scenario since March and notes it has fewer children requiring in-patient care for influenza and other respiratory illnesses.

Depending on how things progress, Sick Kids may also begin accepting adult in-patients if the need arises.

Parents are still being asked to go to their local hospitals if their child requires care. "The only change is that (at these three hospitals) instead of being transferred from the emergency department to the pediatric in-patient floor, they would be transferred to Sick Kids for their length of stay," Orkin said. "So there's no change or reduction in care."