Move of pediatric patients provides better care

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When pediatrics moved in to the new hospital building in Solna, it was to fresh facilities, optimized for providing family-integrated, suitable care. Something the staff has long been looking forward to.

The day before the move, physician and patient area manager Boubou Hallberg, who works with ill newborns at the Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital in Solna, put the final touches on the packing for the move. The following day, the unit moved together with 49 pediatric patients and their relatives to the new hospital building in Solna. A move he assesses will be a major boost for pediatrics.

"We will be getting optimal facilities for conducting family-integrated care, as well as the possibility for joint care. The facilities support our new ways of working and make it possible to have a high level of parental presence, no separation and so-called skin-to-skin care," says Boubou Hallberg and continues:

"It is also adapted for highly specialized neonatal intensive care for the most fragile patients, with natural barriers for the highest possible hygienic standards."

So the new hospital building provides a possibility of so-called joint care.

"Joint care means care of the mother following birth together with the child who needs care, in the same room. Which we gain the possibility of in the new hospital building in Solna."

The maternity ward is not moving in this phase, however. Instead, that move will take place with the rest of the hospital in the next phase of the move in 2018; no move date has been set yet.

"All children born at the current Karolinska, who need neonatal care, or neonatal intensive care, will receive it on site. The intensive care resources will exist in both the current facilities and the new hospital building," says Boubou Hallberg.

He is calm about the patient move, partly due to the extensive experience that exists in the area and partly thanks to the planning for the move.

"To be able to have a highly specialized care, centralization is necessary, and we move children on average more than once a day by ambulance, air travel or helicopter. Karolinska transports more than 500 children per year, many of whom are seriously ill, from throughout Sweden, but also from Europe. The longest transports have extended over several days. So moving children is a part of what we have always worked with," says Boubou Hallberg and continues:

"All moves require careful planning based on clear checklists around teams, equipment and the patient."

The basic rule regarding patient moves of newborns is that the partner accompanies the patient transport of the child, while the recently delivered mother is transported once she is stable. A procedure that takes place in every delivery.

"We always move the children from delivery to the care ward, a distance of 250 meters, which takes around six minutes. The difference on the patient move day was that the distance was 900 meters instead, which took a little more than twice the time to cover. And that the move went to a different building. Otherwise, everything was the same," says Boubou Hallberg.

Text and photo: Carin Tellström