Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer is opening a dedicated pediatric coronavirus facility on Thursday.
“A lot of small hospitals are struggling to care for coronavirus kids, so part of the rationale behind the new facility is to help them,” said Itai Pessach, director of the children’s hospital at Sheba Medical Center to Times of Israel (TOA).
Pessach said that children with the coronavirus are hospitalized in general COVID-19 wards that aren’t suitable for children. The new facility will provide a ward with appropriate decor and amenities for children.
“The biggest consideration has been to find a way to provide holistic care, not just a bed, but also a place to play, conduct school studies, and other things that kids need,” Pessach said. “They’ll get clowns, they’ll get school teachers, and they will get to play with one another.”
Pessach told TOA that a typical pediatric COVID-19 patient has only mild coronavirus symptoms but is in the hospital for other reasons, such as cancer. The children are usually more mobile than adult coronavirus patients, and since all the children in the ward will be positive for the coronavirus, they will be able to interact and play with each other.
Medical clowns will visit the pediatric patients as well as educators in hazmat suits.
The ward will initially house only 12 children but according to Pessach, it will also house the same number of parents. “The parents will come in with the kids, we think this is very important,” said Pessach.
“We’ll test them before the children are hospitalized, and if a parent tests positive, it will be a simple choice for that parent to stay. But even if parents are negative, we will let them choose to stay with a child, obviously understanding they must go into quarantine when they leave. We just don’t think a child should be hospitalized in isolation.”
It’s unknown if Sheba will be the first hospital in the world to dedicate a ward for pediatric coronavirus patients but in April, Sheba was the first hospital in the world to open a dedicated psychiatric coronavirus ward.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)