Pediatric Special Care Unit opening at Children's Hospital

Winnipeg Health Region
Published Tuesday September 26, 2000

The opening of the new Pediatric Special Care Unit at Children's Hospital will provide children, who require intensive medical care for up to two years, with their own unit and free up some Pediatric Intensive Care Unit capacity. The total cost of the unit was approximately $1.1 million.

The six-bed unit will provide care to long term technology dependent children who are stable, but have complex medical diagnoses/critical airways and who may be mechanically ventilated. The goal for these children will be integration into the community.

"Staff at Children's Hospital have always provided first class care for the kids on this unit, often holding them in a special place in their hearts," said John Horne, COO. "This new unit is a welcomed and important addition to the services we provide children requiring complex care."

A multidisciplinary team, working within a family-centered care environment, will work to promote healthy growth and development for the children who will occupy this unit. The team will also assist the families in preparing for the child's return home.

"Families from across Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario and Nunavut will come here and find support," said Jan Currie, Vice-President and Chief Nursing Officer. "They will be supported and educated by the staff and by each other. We're very pleased, as a region, to be able to offer such a service to them."

The unit includes physical space that allows for 24-hour family and care giver presence. In addition, the unit houses a play area, kitchen area and a computer area.

"It is important for us to remember that children will be living in this space for long periods of time," said Kris Kristjanson, Unit Manager, P.I.C.U. & P.S.C.U, Children's Hospital. "When the unit was developed, we tried to consider every aspect of their needs."

The unit will be lead by a Clinical Nurse Specialist who will work collaboratively with the primary physician and other team members to deliver care.

The multidisciplinary team includes: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, child life, social work, respiratory therapy, home care, pharmacy, child development, dietary, speech, language and hearing, medicine and nursing.

The unit will be open for occupancy on Thursday, October 12th, 2000. Formerly called the Pediatric Extended Care Unit (PECU) and located adjacent to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The first PECU at Children's Hospital was started in 1982 and began with two beds.

Construction began in January 2000.

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