Critical paediatric patients in the nation’s capital are in safe hands, as Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) unveiled its expanded paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) to the community.
The 22-bed PICU, which is already operationally the largest in the country, will also have five additional beds added later this year.
SKMC, managed by Cleveland Clinic, is part of the SEHA HealthSystem and owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC (SEHA), which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
“Our mission is to provide exemplary care for critically ill paediatric patients in the country, and we now have the largest PICU in the UAE, continuing to place Abu Dhabi at the forefront of treatment and care for our most vulnerable residents – our children,” said Dr. Aref Al Shehhi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, SKMC.
The PICU was originally set up as a six-bed unit in 2002 within the adult ICU and, at the time, was the first PICU in Abu Dhabi. The dedicated paediatric unit now sees close to 700 critical paediatric patients annually, which continues to increase year on year. Since 2007, the Paediatric Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care team has looked after more than 2000 children following heart surgery.
“SEHA is committed to world class standards of health care, and the reopening of the expanded PICU at SKMC is a testament to this commitment. We continue to position Abu Dhabi not just a world-class location for patient care, but as the new standard for the country, region and the world,” said Mohammed Hassan Al Zaabi, Group Chief Operations Officer.
“A child’s injury or illness can be overwhelming and stressful for families, and knowing that there is access to this kind of critical care environment in Abu Dhabi will surely help ease concerns. Once we finalise staffing and construction work on an additional five beds, we will be able to officially open all 27 beds,” said Dr. Hubert Hon, Paediatric Intensivist and Chair of Critical Care Institute at SKMC.
The SKMC PICU has some of the most advanced technologies available to support patients in need, including the country’s only Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) facility, which is an advanced form of life support used to treat infants and children in cardiac and/or respiratory failure. In select patients it works as a modified form of heart and lung bypass support on a temporary basis while waiting for recovery.
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