Unless you have visited KHSC’s inpatient pediatrics unit recently, you might not have noticed some drastic changes in the way highly specialized pediatric care is being delivered here at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC).
In fact, over the last few years, KHSC has made significant strides to enhance the types of care it offers to the young patients of southeastern Ontario through the Pediatric Critical Care Unit (PCCU) and Inpatient Pediatric Unit on Kidd 10. The hospital’s main goal is that kids in the region receive top-notch care closer to home.
Dr. Anupam Sehgal, Program Medical Director and pediatric intensivist, says that people in the community might not be aware of the types of specialized care that KHSC is now able to provide.
"Whenever we talk about it with people, even here in the hospital, they aren't necessarily aware of what we we’ve been up to lately here in pediatrics," Dr. Sehgal noted. “We’ve been able to expand the types of care we offer and have increased the complexity of patients we can care for. In the past, many patients would have to be transferred to other cities, but now we can care for those patients here in Kingston. We have really reduced the number of patients that have to be transferred elsewhere for care.”
KHSC operates now 17 beds on its inpatient pediatric unit, with six of those located inside KHSC’s Pediatric Critical Care Unit (PCCU). This unit, a Level 2 facility specializing in the care of critically ill patients requiring non-invasive ventilation, recently expanded from four beds to six thanks to a one-million-dollar provincial investment earlier this year. In fact, KHSC now operates 12 per cent of the total Level 2 pediatric critical care beds in the entire province.
“In the past parents often assumed they would be transferred to another hospital like the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). But now they are starting to understand that we can offer that type of care here at KHSC,” says Dr. Sehgal. “We do still have some limitations, particularly for kids requiring invasive ventilation or for some trauma cases, but we can now manage a much broader range of complex patients and even accept transfers from other pediatric hospitals, like we did last year during respiratory illness season.”
In addition to the PCCU, KHSC is only hospital in southeastern Ontario to house an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit for pediatric patients, a service typically found in specialized pediatric hospitals such as the CHEO or SickKids. This service enables neurologists to provide monitoring and management of epilepsy patients here at home.