New pediatric emergency space a ‘dream come true’ for doctors at Calgary’s South Health Campus

Click to play video: 'Calgary mom praises health officials for opening of new kids emergency space' Calgary mom praises health officials for opening of new kids emergency space
WATCH: A Calgary mom whose son suffered a traumatic brain injury three-and-a-half years ago is praising the South Health Campus for providing critical, emergency care for kids. Deb Matejicka reports – Oct 3, 2019

Doctors at Calgary’s South Health Campus are calling their new specialized pediatric emergency care space a “dream come true.”

“The fact we have monitored beds in every pod, it’s amazing,” said Dr. Shabnam Minoosepehr. “You don’t often get that in every emergency department, but that actually means that we can look after really sick kids, we can do procedures, we can do sedations — that’s huge.”

Dr. Minoosepehr, specializes in pediatric emergency medicine and helped plan the child-friendly emergency space or ‘pod’.

The C-Pod as officials are calling it, is open daily from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. and has nine beds, themed rooms with murals and a private waiting area.

Patients will continue to enter through the main emergency room but will then be directed to the more private and quiet area.

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“A lot of thoughtful planning has gone into the design, making sure that it’s patient- and family-centered for our smallest and sometimes most vulnerable patients and their families,” said Lori Anderson, South Health Campus’ senior operating officer.

“It’s scary coming to the hospital and when you’re little, why wouldn’t we offer them that little bit extra support,” Melanie Nielson said.

Nielson and her son Ethan, who suffered a traumatic brain injury three-and-a-half years ago and received critical care at the South Health Campus, helped officially open the new unit.

“I’m grateful for the South Health Campus because it definitely saved my son’s life that day,” Nielson said.

She added that having access to emergency services nearby is critical.

“It makes the difference between life and death when you’re truly in an emergency situation, because the [Alberta] Children’s Hospital is still 45 minutes away.”

Kids under 18 made up nearly a fifth of all emergency visits to the South Health Campus last year.

The hospital currently averages about 40 pediatric patients per day and is expected to see over 14,000 pediatric patients over the course of the next year from across the city and from areas to the south of Calgary.

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The $3.9-million project was fully funded by private donations to the Calgary Health Trust through the Calgary Foundation.

“To have it materialize, like a dream to come true like this, it’s very special,” Minoosepehr said. “So it’s always a reminder coming back and working here, because someone wanted to make a difference.”

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