News

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Temporary Restrictions on Referrals to Ophthalmology

The Ophthalmology Program is temporarily instituting additional limits on referrals, as outlined in “Criteria for new patients” below. Telehealth is generally not a suitable option for eye appointments, and the new referral criteria will help us prioritize in-person appointments for patients with the most urgent needs who cannot find equivalent care in the community. Wait times at Seattle Children’s are currently about five months; patients with urgent needs will be seen in a timely manner.

To help community providers find eye care for their patients who cannot be seen here, we offer a list of optometrists and ophthalmologists throughout Washington state who see children, including, in most cases, those with disabilities or special needs. More information about referring to Ophthalmology is found on our website.

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Seattle Children’s Recognized as One of the Nation’s Best Children’s Hospitals

We are pleased to share that for the 28th year in a row, Seattle Children’s is recognized as one of the nation’s best children’s hospitals — and the number-one pediatric hospital in the Northwest — in U.S. News & World Report. Hospitals are ranked based on outcomes and quality-related information, including success in managing patients, commitment to best practices, recognition as a Nurse Magnet hospital, active fellowship programs and the availability of specialty care. This important designation distinguishes Seattle Children’s as one of the top places in the nation providing care for children.

See more details about Seattle Children’s rankings.

Seattle Children’s Locations Are Open and Seeing Patients: ED and Urgent Cares Have Capacity

Seattle Children’s is increasing in-person appointments and is ready to see your patients. To partner with and support PCPs, we are continuing to update our referral guidelines and resources including many new algorithms to help assess and manage patients’ conditions. Learn more.

Our Capacity

  • ALL Seattle Children’s locations are open for in-person appointments, with just two exceptions: Outpatient Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Clinic at Overlake and South Sound Cardiology (SSC) in Centralia are still temporarily closed (SSC Federal Way, Silverdale and Tacoma are open).
  • We are returning to normal ambulatory volumes. We expect to be back to 80+% of our normal ambulatory volumes by the end of June and hope to further expand capacity in the following months.
  • Our Urgent Cares are open and have capacity, both for appointments and COVID-19 testing. Patients can schedule an appointment online or just walk in.
  • We are encouraging families to get the care they need, either in-person or through telehealth appointments. We are proactively contacting families to schedule new and follow-up visits, but also encourage families to contact us to schedule since we often are unable to reach them.

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COVID-19 Test Results

Seattle Children’s is now processing all COVID-19 tests in-house. Turnaround times are as follows:

  • If your patient uses the Sand Point Learning Center drive-through testing site, you will receive same-day results.
  • If your patient uses a regional urgent care clinic, you will receive results the same day or by 10 a.m. the next day. Samples that do not make same-day runs in microbiology will be on the 6 a.m. run the following day. (The last run of each day is at 6 p.m.)

As a reminder, we will send test results only to the referring provider, not to patient families directly (except for tests ordered by Seattle Children’s). Find more details about our community testing on our COVID-19 testing page.

COVID-19 Testing Update as of Tuesday, June 2: we have tested 4,224 patients, with 39 positive and 9 inconclusive, for an overall positivity rate of 1.1%.

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Clinical Trial: Cancer Drug Shows Promise of Minimizing Heart Damage

For many patients undergoing treatment for cancer, there is not just the immediate worry about beating the disease but also the longer-term prospect of surviving the harsh side effects of the drugs that saved them. Almost five years ago, On the Pulse featured a clinical trial led by Dr. Todd Cooper to study the safety and efficacy of a cancer drug called CPX-351. Cooper and his team wanted to find out if CPX-351 could help young cancer patients survive their disease without the long-term cardiac damage so often caused by other drugs. Read full post »

COVID-19 Research Underway at Seattle Children’s

More than 50 research studies to understand, detect, treat and prevent the coronavirus in children and families have launched at Seattle Children’s since the virus emerged in late 2019. Our weekly On the Pulse blog series, called “Quest(ion) for Discovery,” highlights research in progress and the search for answers that could result in major scientific breakthroughs that save lives and slow the spread of the virus.

Recent posts:

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Patient Flyers for Vaccinations, Safe Return to Care

Childhood vaccinations plummeted after COVID-19 was declared a national emergency. The New York Times reported that the administration of measles, mumps and rubella shots dropped by 50% between the week of February 16 (pre-COVID-19) and the week of April 5; diphtheria and whooping cough shots dropped by 42% and human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines by 73% during the same period.

Seattle Children’s is participating in a public education campaign by the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) to encourage people to get care when they need it, including well-child checks and vaccinations for children. Read full post »

Coronavirus Updates May 22, 2020: Updates on Pre-operative Screening and Memorial Day Testing Hours

1. Pre-operative Testing at Seattle Children’s: What Happens When Patients Live Far Away or Cannot Get Tested in Time

We are screening all pre-operative patients for COVID-19. This includes patients who will have a procedure in an operating room and those who need anesthesia in Radiology. Families who have a procedure or surgery scheduled receive a reminder call 72 hours before surgery from the pre-procedure nurses. These tests need to be collected 24 to 72 hours prior to surgery and are being offered at our drive-through testing location at our Sand Point Learning Center (SPLC) north of the hospital, or during an in-person appointment at one of our four urgent care locations in Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way and Seattle. Learn more about testing at Seattle Children’s.

When 24 Hour Tests are Necessary

Requests for testing within 24 hours may come up for cases that are added last minute. These families can come to Seattle to have their testing performed within the 24 hour period. Results from external facilities should be faxed to the Seattle Children’s Pre-Anesthesia COVID-19 testing line at 206-987-2060 by 5 p.m. the day before procedure.

We understand that timely testing is not widely available outside the Seattle area. Perioperative Services will be working with families traveling from further away to help coordinate early arrival to the Seattle area to allow testing. Read full post »

Update on Air Pressure and Monitoring in our ORs

We are writing to update you on the work happening in our main campus operating rooms (ORs).

As we previously shared with you, in 2019, we temporarily closed 10 ORs in order to install a new rooftop air handling unit, as well as in-room HEPA filtration systems. HEPA is an extremely effective filtration system that removes more than 99.97% of particles from the air passing through the filter. Since re-opening our ORs in February 2020, we have conducted continuous air pressure monitoring and daily air testing, and validated that the new air handling unit and HEPA filtration systems are functioning as expected.

Providing safe, quality care is our top priority at Seattle Children’s. As we stated before reopening our ORs, we are committed to taking swift and necessary action – including closing ORs – in the event of unexpected test results. In May, routine air tests detected low levels of fungal spores in several ORs and an equipment storage room. Daily testing has not detected any Aspergillus fumigatus spores, which is the species of Aspergillus associated with our previously confirmed 14 Aspergillus surgical site infections. Air testing did detect very low levels of Aspergillus versicolor spores, which is generally not associated with causing surgical site infections. Nevertheless, the air test results prompted us to evaluate the environment and OR air pressures, which revealed unexpected air pressure findings.

Based on these results, we decided to proceed with a more expansive evaluation of the impacted spaces in collaboration with external engineering experts. We anticipate several ORs will be closed for several weeks while the evaluation is underway.

Seattle Children’s shared this information with the Washington State Department of Health on May 12.

A majority of our ORs are open and we are performing surgeries both on main campus and at our Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center.

Due to our limited room availability during this evaluation, we will need to reschedule a very small number of surgeries; our scheduling team will be in touch with families whose surgeries may be impacted .

If you have an urgent clinical concern, please call the Provider-to-Provider Consulting Line at 206-987-7777.

If you would like to speak with someone on the Seattle Children’s leadership team directly, please contact Dr. Ruth McDonald, Vice President, Associate Chief Medical Officer.

Drive-Through Testing for Community Pediatric Patients Is Now Available at Seattle Children’s

Beginning today, May 11, we will offer COVID-19 nasal swab testing to symptomatic community pediatric patients (non-Seattle Children’s patients) at our Sand Point Learning Center drive-through test site and at our urgent care sites in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett and Federal Way. Tests will be provided during their normal hours of operation.

We are excited to offer this important service to our community. Full details are on our website.

How to order a test

1. Fill out a SARS-CoV-2 COVID lab requisition to order testing for your patient. Send the form via:

1. Facsys to COVID-19FamilyCallCenter@seattlechildrens.org

OR

2. Enter order into CIS, or fax to 206-985-3111 or 866-985-3111 (toll-free)

OR

3.  A paper copy that the family can bring with them to their appointment (not preferred; appointment scheduling may take longer)

2. Instruct your patient to call 206-987-2100 to schedule their appointment. Scheduling is only available once the testing order is received. If your patient calls to schedule their appointment and the order has not been received, your patient will be instructed to contact you.

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