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Today’s coronavirus news: The how and why Sick Kids transformed to treat gravely ill adults with COVID during the pandemic

Today’s coronavirus news: The how and why Sick Kids transformed to treat gravely ill adults with COVID during the pandemic
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The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Sunday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

They were grateful the virus largely spared children, and that detailed plans to manage a surge of critically ill kids weren’t needed. But staff felt helpless as COVID patients threatened to overwhelm neighbouring hospitals.

Then, at the beginning of April, after provincial modelling predicted there could be 800 COVID patients in ICUs and physicians worried about the grim possibility of rationing care, Sick Kids enacted its pandemic plan of last resort.

For the first time in its history, as part of a provincial response.

“There was a desperate desire to be helpful,” said Jackie Hubbert, clinical director of the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit.

Sick Kids accepted its first two adult COVID patients on April 8. Days later, the new eight-bed unit was filled, and staff were seeing firsthand how the virus attacked bodies and ravaged lungs.

“I don’t think we understood until we saw them — had them in our building — how sick the patients can be,” said Jason Macartney, Sick Kids’ clinical manager of respiratory therapy.
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