The Hamilton Spectator
June 14, 2012
McMaster Children’s Hospital held an official opening of its new pediatric intensive care unit Thursday that is expected to see eight intensive care beds transferred to it by the end of July.
Named after philanthropist Michael DeGroote, who donated $10 million to renovate and rebuild a part of the hospital for the ICU, the new unit “will benefit the patient immensely” according to its medical director, Dr. Cynthia Cupido.
The current ICU space, created when the hospital was converted to a children’s only hospital, was meant to be temporary, is crammed and was never meant to be an ICU, she said.
The new unit features 12 private rooms — only eight will beds because that is what the Ministry of Health currently funds for McMaster’s pediatric ICU.
The rooms each have a state-of-the-art robotic arm that centralizes all the equipment staff need. It contains a ventilator, intravenous pumps and oxygen tanks, for example, all in one hub.
This all-in-one piece of equipment gives staff considerable space to work around the child by replacing several pieces of equipment and “allows us unobstructed access to the patients,” Cupido said.
“These rooms are two-and-a-half times larger than the ones we’re working in now.”
The all-private rooms in the new unit are crucial to infection control, she added.
Murray Martin, president and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences, which includes the children’s hospital, said the hospital now has “the premier pediatric units of anywhere in this country,” adding it is only possible through DeGroote’s generosity.
Several families whose children were saved in the current and past McMaster hospital ICUs took part in the celebratory opening, many of them tearfully thanking staff for the care their children received.