News

All Articles in the Category ‘News’

An Update on Seattle Children’s Precautions and Instructions for 2019-nCoV

We want to provide an update on how Seattle Children’s is preparing for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). To date, no Children’s patients have tested positive for 2019-nCoV.

PCPs who are caring for a patient with suspected 2019-nCoV should first contact Public Health-Seattle & King County. If, after discussing with Public Health, the decision is made to send the patient to Children’s, the PCP should first notify the ED Communications Center at 206-987-8899.

The viral respiratory panel used at Seattle Children’s does not detect this virus. If the panel detects coronavirus it is due to a different strain.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They usually cause mild respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. 2019-nCoV is a new coronavirus that was not seen in humans prior to December 2019. For more information, please review the coronavirus information sheet. Read full post »

Three Operating Rooms Reopened; Next Closure Planned for Mid-January

Following installation of a new air handling system in December that required a temporary shutdown of all operating rooms (ORs), Seattle Children’s has reopened the three ORs that already had in-room HEPA filtration.

These three ORs will be closed again for a couple of weeks beginning Jan. 18 to allow for commissioning of the new air handling system.

Ten other ORs remain closed to allow for installation of new HEPA filtration systems in each of those rooms. We expect that work to be complete no sooner than mid- to late- February; however, all dates are subject to change. To respect our patients and families — and to avoid unnecessary rescheduling of surgeries — we will not start scheduling non-urgent surgeries until we have a full go-live date.

We are continuing our extended operating hours at the hospital (until Jan. 18) and Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center and are performing some surgeries at partner hospitals.

For your convenience in fielding inquiries from concerned patient families, we’ve created flyers in English and Spanish about air quality in our operating rooms. Please feel free to print and share them with patient families as needed. Read full post »

GI Limits Referrals for Constipation, Abdominal Pain and Gastroesophageal Reflux; Offers PCP Resources

Seattle Children’s Gastroenterology program is notifying referring providers that patients referred for functional abdominal pain, functional constipation or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are not being scheduled unless they are showing alarm signs or red flags.* They are instead re-directed to their referring provider for care. Patients on GI’s waitlist also are being notified, as are their referring providers.

The decision is intended to provide better access to timely care for those children who most need GI’s specialty care. It is driven by sustained high demand for GI specialty care and the departure in 2019 of several GI team members for other opportunities. GI is actively recruiting new providers and hopes to be able to resume seeing patients for these conditions again in late 2020. Read full post »

Urgent Care Clinics Now Open One Hour Earlier, at 4 p.m.

To better serve our patients and families, Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Clinics in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett and Federal Way are now open an hour earlier on weekdays, at 4 p.m.

As a reminder, all Seattle Children’s Urgent Care locations are open seven days a week, including holidays. Hours are from 4 to 10:30 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. Appointments can be made online the same day starting at midnight or by calling 206-987-2211. Limited walk-in appointments are also available.

Urgent care and ED hours and locations are found in the Emergency or Urgent Care Referral Guide. Read full post »

Autism Center Is Changing Its Medication Management Program; Returning Stabilized Patients to PCPs and Community Psychiatrists

Seattle Children’s Autism Center is beginning to restructure its psychiatric medication management program with the goal of reducing long wait times for appointments and improving overall access to care. Wait times for a first-time appointment are currently one year or more. The medication management program is also actively recruiting new providers to fill gaps left by several staff departures last year.

The new medication management program will no longer see patients year after year for ongoing medication management, but will instead aim to provide a short-term, consultative model that helps patients get stabilized and on the right medication program, then return to their primary care provider or a community psychiatrist to receive ongoing medication management. In most cases, patients would require 3 to 5 visits, although patients needing more time to find the right regimen and stabilize would be seen longer. Read full post »

Amazing Advances in Cystic Fibrosis Treatment

A clinical trial at Seattle Children’s of a new drug called Trikafta has shown dramatic improvements in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, and is projected to benefit up to 90% of all people with CF. Seattle Children’s Cystic Fibrosis Program participated in the phase 3 trial, and our On the Pulse blog describes the research science, the team of doctors and nurses involved at Children’s and the very personal impact on 17-year-old Ellie and her family.

“The first therapy approved for cystic fibrosis treated only about 7% of patients,” said Dr. Ron Gibson, director of Seattle Children’s Cystic Fibrosis Program. “Not only is this third-generation drug more robust, but it is treating the vast majority of patients with cystic fibrosis.” Read full post »

3 Operating Rooms Re-Opened: Update on Air Handling Unit Work and OR Closures, Tuesday, Dec. 31

Seattle Children’s has completed the latest step in the installation process of our new air handling unit. That installation work required us to temporarily shut down all the operating rooms (ORs) at the hospital.

After extensively cleaning the ORs and performing air testing this past week, we have reopened three ORs we had previously been using that already have in-room HEPA filtration. Ten of our ORs will remain closed until the end of January 2020 to allow for installation of the new HEPA filtration systems in each of those rooms.

We will continue our extended operating hours at the hospital and Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center. This will allow us to serve more patients in our available ORs while we continue work to reopen those that are closed; we will also perform some surgeries at partner hospitals.

Please note that additional work will need to occur before the new air handling unit can be activated — we will not begin using it until the end of January. Read full post »

Update on ORs Reopening

We want to update you about our plans for reopening the four operating rooms (ORs) we had previously been using at our hospital campus, including the three that already have in-room HEPA filtration.

Work is continuing, and we now expect to reopen these four ORs after the holidays.

The other 10 ORs at our main hospital campus will remain closed until the end of January 2020 to allow for installation of the new HEPA filtration systems in those rooms.

We will provide updates as new information becomes available.

How should we refer patients with possible surgical needs?

Please continue to refer patients by calling our ED Communications Center at 206-987-8899. We will review potential surgical patients on a case-by-case basis with the appropriate surgical specialists and with our Surgeon-in-Chief. During the shutdown, we will perform emergent surgeries in the cath labs and alternate sites in the hospital; we will also perform some surgeries at partner hospitals. Read full post »

Air Handling Unit Work and Operating Room Shutdown

In late November, we moved components of our new air handling unit onto the hospital’s roof. The next step in the installation process is scheduled to begin this coming week and will require us to temporarily shut down all the operating rooms (ORs) at the hospital. During the shutdown, we will perform emergent surgeries in the cath labs and alternate sites in the hospital; we will also perform some surgeries at partner hospitals.

On Tuesday, Dec. 10, we plan to decommission all of the ORs, including the four we are currently using. After decommissioning, construction crews will perform the planned work on the air handling unit. We will then extensively clean the ORs and perform air testing.

We plan to reopen the four rooms we have been using on Saturday, Dec. 21 — this includes the three ORs that already have in-room HEPA filtration. The other 10 ORs will remain closed until the end of January 2020 to allow for installation of the new HEPA filtration systems in those rooms.

We will provide updates as new information becomes available.

Please note that additional work will need to occur before the new air handling unit can be activated — we will not begin using it until the end of January.

How should we refer patients with possible surgical needs?

Please continue to refer patients by calling our ED Communications Center at 206-987-8899. We will review potential surgical patients on a case-by-case basis with the appropriate surgical specialists and with our Surgeon-in-Chief. During the shutdown, we will perform emergent surgeries in the cath labs and alternate sites in the hospital; we will also perform some surgeries at partner hospitals.

Where should I direct families who have questions?

Patients and families who have questions or concerns not related to scheduling may call our Patient and Family Relations Department at 206-987-2550. For an interpreter, they can call 866-583-1527 and ask to be connected to this number: 7-2550.

What if I have more questions?

Providers who would like to speak with Seattle Children’s leadership team directly should contact Dr. Jeff Ojemann, Seattle Children’s surgeon-in-chief (206-987-2544 or Jeffery.Ojemann@seattlechildrens.org).

If you have an urgent clinical concern, please call the Provider-to-Provider Line at 206-987-7777 and ask to speak to the specific surgical service on call.

For more information, read our complete FAQ for providers.

Read full post »

Brain Research Sheds New Light on Link Between Nicotine and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Researchers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute have discovered that populations of neurons in the brainstem have a previously unrecognized susceptibility to disruption by nicotine during early brain development.

Published in the Journal of Comparative Neurology, their findings offer a clue to how nicotine exposure in utero could have a lasting effect on the brain’s wiring and give rise to negative outcomes like SIDS.

“Our findings point to new areas in the brain where nicotine could act as a developmental disruptor and could be important to understanding sudden infant death syndrome,” says Dr. Eric Turner of the research institute’s Center for Integrative Brain Research. Read full post »