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SickKids Children's Hospital announces increase in surgeries



The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada's largest pediatric hospital, says it will begin ramping up surgeries on Monday.


SickKids decided to reduce surgeries in mid-November to preserve its critical care capacity and redeploy staff to its overwhelmed intensive care unit and emergency department.


At the time, the hospital was dealing with a surge of sick children with flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) entering emergency rooms, forcing the hospital to cancel all surgeries except emergencies or urgent procedures.


Other pediatric hospitals in Ontario have also had to cancel surgeries to cope with a large increase in respiratory illnesses.


In an update, SickKids says it has seen patient numbers stabilize at volumes usually seen at this time of year.


Associate Chief of Perioperative Services, Dr. Simon Kelley, says these past few months have been the most challenging in the hospital's history.


Six of its 16 operating rooms were closed during the past two months, but they continued to provide urgent surgeries during that difficult period. The hospital currently has a backlog of nearly 6,000 patients.

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