Starting at 5 a.m. all new ED patients will be directed to the new location. Security staff will be positioned at the old ED entrance to show people the way to the new building. And signs will be posted throughout the BC Children’s and BC Women’s Hospital campus directing patients to the new entrance.
Emergency rooms in many new hospitals experience increased traffic when they first open. And although the new emergency department is physically larger, that does not mean wait times will decrease. In fact, it is likely that for the first while, they may increase, said Christy Hay, the department’s program manager.
“The new emergency department was built to last well into the future. It is larger in order to accommodate greater demand as the province’s population grows,” said Hay.
“For now, staffing levels will remain constant and medical staff are getting used to a new care model, so wait times will likely be a bit longer during this beginning period.”
If your child needs emergency treatment, don’t hesitate to bring them to our door, Hay said.
“As always the emergency department will prioritize care according to need. The most serious cases will receive immediate treatment. Others will be seen, but may have to wait.”
Here are some useful tips about when it is appropriate to visit BC Children’s Hospital’s emergency department:
- For serious and life-threatening issues like difficulty breathing, high fever after administering Tylenol/Advil, seizures or a major accident, the emergency department is always the right place. Remember to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
- For non-urgent situations, contact a family doctor, visit a local walk-in clinic where available. If you’re unsure, call the free 8-1-1 service line (7-1-1 for hearing-impaired) operated by HealthLink BC. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and operates in more than 130 languages. A nurse will provide trustworthy advice and information about where to seek help. Pharmacists are also available for medication advice through HealthLink BC.
How to get to the new Emergency Department:
Whether you arrive by transit, bicycle or car share, we have services on site to support your choice. If you are arriving by car, enter at Oak Street and turn left onto the ring road and follow the BC Children’s Emergency signs. There are two designated patient parking lots kitty-corner to the ED doors and a large lot further back, adjacent to 28th Avenue. Parking rates will remain unchanged. A valet valet parking service kiosk will remain at its existing location east of the ring road near the Shaughnessy Building.
Emergency Department Highlights:
- Includes 55 single-patient treatment rooms
- Comfortable, reclining chairs to help family members get some rest
- Two critical care rooms at the ambulance entrance for the sickest and most seriously injured patients
- Five mental health rooms providing a calming, therapeutic and low-stimulus space, removed from the fast pace of the main ED
- The procedure/sedation room provides space for suture and other minor procedures in a child-friendly environment
- A new Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) is an area for ED patients who require additional monitoring, investigation and treatment prior to a decision to transfer to another area of the hospital or to discharge home. This reduces inpatient admissions from ED, reduces the length of stay, reduces health care costs, and improves patient and family satisfaction and clinical outcomes.