May 17, 2019 6:34 pm
Updated: May 17, 2019 7:15 pm

New PICU ready to open at Stollery Children’s Hospital

A new multi-million dollar unit inside Edmonton's Stollery Children's Hospital will be opening for patients next week. Tom Vernon reports.

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An $11.7-million redevelopment of the pediatric intensive care unit at the Stollery Children’s Hospital will open to patients on May 22.

The new unit includes 16 beds, all of them in private rooms.

“This is going to set a new transformation in the type of care we can provide to patients and families,” Alberta Health Services’ Dr. Verna Yiu told reporters during a tour of the new facility.

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“The additional space actually allows us to have the families there, without feeling like they’re getting in the way of the care that’s being provided.”

READ MORE: Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton unveils expanded pediatric operating suite

The current unit, which treated 670 children in 2018, features beds only separated by curtains, and a lack of furniture for families to spend the nights comfortably.

“You are next to another patient, so you are taking on their story. You can hear everything, they can hear everything from you,” said Melanie Proskow, whose son Jacob spent several weeks in the current unit.

He was eventually moved into a private room inside the pediatric cardiac unit in the Mazankowski Heart Institute. He passed away last summer. Melanie says the move into the room drastically reduced the stress her family was going through in those final weeks.

“I could cry without everyone seeing.”

This is the second part of three phases worth of improvements being made to the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Phase one was the cardiac unit, and next up will be an expansion to the neonatal intensive care unit, due to be completed in 2021.

READ MORE: Edmonton hospital uses iPads to keep parents and babies close in NICU

Funding includes $64.5 million worth of government funding, and $5.5 million from the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.

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