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As Red Cross heads to CHEO, other Ontario pediatric hospitals not requesting help

Several major Ontario pediatric hospitals say they are not asking for external staff support, as Ottawa's CHEO prepares to bring in Red Cross staff until at least the end of the year.
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A sign directing visitors to the emergency department is shown at CHEO, in Ottawa, Friday, May 15, 2015. Several major Ontario pediatric hospitals say they are not asking for external staff support, as Ottawa's CHEO prepares to bring in Red Cross staff until at least the end of the year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Several major Ontario pediatric hospitals say they are not asking for external staff support, as Ottawa's CHEO prepares to bring in Red Cross staff until at least the end of the year. 

The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and Hamilton's McMaster Children's Hospital have not requested staff support from outside organizations, but say they continue to redeploy staff and cut back on surgeries to help backstop stretched critical-care units.

Meanwhile, the Children's Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre says it does not require assistance from external organizations. 

CHEO says two teams of nine Canadian Red Cross personnel are arriving at the Ottawa pediatric hospital this week to work rotating overnight shifts in support of its clinical-care teams. 

The hospital says it expects the teams will be there until January, when it will reassess. 

Pediatric hospitals across Ontario have for weeks reported surging admissions as they contend with a triple-threat of respiratory syncytial virus, the seasonal flu and COVID-19. 

CHEO's chief executive Alex Munter says influenza is the big problem now, as RSV cases stabilize. 

The hospital opened a second intensive care unit in November to treat what it called an unprecedented number of critically ill babies and children. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2022. 

The Canadian Press

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