Women’s College Hospital – NICU Closed

Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital has made the difficult decision to temporarily close its neonatal intensive care ward due to a severe bacterial infection. This closure directly impacts premature babies, some weighing as little as 500 grams, who are particularly susceptible to infections that pose no threat to full-term babies.

The overcrowded conditions within the ward are believed to have contributed to the spread of the infection. Distressingly, several of the infants under the hospital’s care have already developed abscesses, pneumonia, eye, and blood infections.

This closure is expected to last for weeks, necessitating the transfer of at-risk babies and pregnant mothers to other cities, provinces, and potentially even to the United States for necessary care.

It is clear that this NICU is in dire need of renovation. In fact, an article from Toronto Life magazine in December 2005 highlighted the challenges faced by a mother who had a premature baby at Women’s. The hospital’s Level III nursery, known for its highly respected medical team providing the highest level of neonatal care, houses an average of 24 babies at a time. However, the cramped space, with isolettes and medical equipment vying for space with caregivers, residents, and visitors, falls far short of the recommended 150 square feet per child. This is one of the impetuses behind the planned relocation of the unit to a state-of-the-art facility at Sunnybrook by spring 2009.

The situation at Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital underscores the urgent need for improved conditions and resources in order to provide the best possible care for these vulnerable infants.

About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

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