Alberta Health Services is centralizing emergency-room space for children in preparation for a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations, the province announced Thursday.
All nine pediatric emergency beds at southeast Calgary’s South Health Campus will immediately be converted into space for adults. Dedicated beds for those under the age of 18 will now only be offered at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
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According to Dr. Antonia Stang, the AHS section chief for pediatric emergency medicine, the decision was made to spread out care space for those infected with the novel coronavirus, particularly as the virus is thought to affect older populations significantly more than younger ones.
“What we’ve seen of COVID-19 in other countries would suggest that children often have milder disease than adults,” Stang said.
“We wanted to make sure that with the anticipated surge in demand for acute care and emergency space, particularly for adults, we would move our pediatric care out of there to the Children’s Hospital so we could free up those spaces for those likely to need it most.”