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Wait times for sick children dropping at Windsor Regional Hospital thanks to new clinic

Dr. Jason Metcalf examined 11-month-old Jamieson Brando inside the Pediatric Emergency Diversion Clinic at Windsor Regional Hospital on Feb. 9, 2024. (Michelle Maluske/CTV News Windsor) Dr. Jason Metcalf examined 11-month-old Jamieson Brando inside the Pediatric Emergency Diversion Clinic at Windsor Regional Hospital on Feb. 9, 2024. (Michelle Maluske/CTV News Windsor)
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The Pediatric Emergency Diversion Service (PEDs) has been so successful it’s expanding in March.

“We're able to do this because the government is adding additional funding to have a third pediatrician on site,” Dr. Jason Metcalf told CTV News Friday.

Since opening in September 2023, the clinic operates Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.

In that time, hospitals officials say 400 children under the age of 17 have avoided a lengthy wait in the emergency room by going up to the third floor of Met Campus, where the clinic operates.

“The idea is that kids will come into the ER, be briefly assessed by our triage nurse and physician down there. If they seem stable and not immediately life threateningly ill, we’ll bring them upstairs so they can be assessed by a pediatrician in a timely fashion,” said Metcalf.

He told CTV News they are seeing wait times drop from nine to 12 hours down to two or three.

Dr. Metcalf said children who are urgently ill will be seen immediately in the emergency room.

Fayth Brando, seen on Feb. 9, 2024, brought her 11-month-old son Jamieson to the Pediatric Emergency Diversion Clinic at Windsor Regional Hospital. (Michelle Maluske/CTV News Windsor)

“But for anybody else who has an urgent to emergent need – coughs, colds, vomiting, diarrhea, that kind of stuff, they can be waiting a number of hours,” said Metcalf. “We'll be able to get those kids up and seen quickly even though the ER is still busy.”

One of those kids was Jamieson Brando, whose mom Fayth brought to the emergency department last Friday night because the 11-month-old was throwing up and not wetting his diapers.

“I honestly thought I was going to have to wait hours,” Brando said when adding it was “maybe an hour” before doctors diagnosed her son with a viral stomach bug.

He was put on an IV and had blood work and tests done in the time Brando estimated they would have still been waiting to see a doctor.

Dr. Jason Metcalf, seen on Feb. 9, 2024, is one of three pediatricians who work inside the Pediatric Emergency Diversion Clinic at Windsor Regional Hospital. (Michelle Maluske/CTV News Windsor)

“Being a first-time parent, it was very reassuring knowing that there was going to be somebody or staff that would directly just be thinking about him and his care,” she said.

Brando wanted to publicly thank the staff who work in PEDs.

“I had so many questions [and] there's so many things running through my mind. And just being able to be reassured by the staff, it felt really good,” said Brando. “It was like whatever question that I had, no matter how big or small, I could have it answered.”

As of March 1, 2024, PED’s will operate seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. inside Met Campus of Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH).

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