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Expansion of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital has the largest ICU for children in Africa. 22 of the approximately 35 ICU beds dedicated to children in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, are at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. This facility also provides emergency care for critically ill or injured children from around South Africa and from other African countries. The demands on this Unit are higher than their capacity to deliver. This demand is being driven by the increase in surgery requirements and escalations in detection of serious illnesses.

There is a dire need to expand the unit’s capacity to accommodate up to 39 beds, which includes a 10-bed High Care Unit for neonatal patients and the establishment of 8 isolation cubicles. It is not only the increased amount of beds that is essential, but also the provision of more space around beds to comfortably accommodate critical life-saving equipment, 24/7 nursing staff for a higher nurse-to-patient ratio and adequate space for extremely anxious parents.

The risk of cross-infection is a serious challenge that can compromise the healing process of critically ill children. In addition, the upgraded PICU will enable the establishment of comfortable and supportive areas for breastfeeding mothers, concerned family members, family counselling, and an improved resting area for ICU staff, for which there is currently no suitable space.

The Children’s Hospital Trust has raised over R100million for this expansion, upgrade and equipping.

For more information regarding this project contact Chantel Cooper or call 021 686 7860

Download our informative Paediatric ICU info-graphic here