An Intensive Care Unit at the Children’s Hospital was opened in the Fall of 1966, on the second floor of the North Wing in the old Children’s Hospital. The Unit provided care for post-surgical patients, patients with trauma, patients with head injuries, and patients in comas. The Unit was comprised of three beds, with a fourth bed in reserve if necessary. The staff consisted of 10 graduate nurses under the medical supervision of Dr. T.J. McCaughey, Dr. G. Cumming, and Dr. P. Adhikari, along with representatives from pediatrics and surgery. The Unit initially opened as an extension of the Recovery Room, but Dr. McCaughey expected that the Unit would also serve as a training and educational area for the entire Children’s Hospital.
By 1967 the Children’s Hospital ICU was in full operation and served children who required more than what was provided by typical ward care, primarily in surgical and accident cases. Mrs. M. MacKay supervised a team of 14 nurse staff on a rotational basis, in order to provide constant 24-hour care to patients.
The equipment in the Children’s Hospital consisted of two monitors for heart surgery patients that provided continuous tracing of the heart pattern on the monitor, a defibrillator, two respirators and portable “Croupette” breathing tents, and tape recording facilities for reporting and charting.
In 1968, two years after the ICU had opened, plans were developed to extend the Nursery to include an Intensive Care Newborn Nursery which would increase and improve space and equipment to provide better care. The Intensive Care Nursery opened in 1972, and was the first instance of the Children’s Hospital providing designated intensive care to newborns.
You can find more information on designated critical care for infants and children at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.