Ascension St. John to close pediatric units

Tulsa, Okla.-based Ascension St. John Medical Center plans to close its pediatric intensive care and general pediatric inpatient care units, a move families are speaking out against, 2 News Oklahoma reported Feb. 10.

The hospital said the closures — set for April 30 — will allow for a $27 million ICU expansion, which will add 36 adult ICU beds over two years, 2 News reported Feb. 8.

The pediatric units have a total of 22 beds and the hospital has 100 pediatric admissions a month, on average. With the closure of the pediatric units, there will only be three pediatric ICUs in the state: one at Tulsa-based Children's Hospital at Saint Francis and two in Oklahoma City.

"It's frightening thinking of, okay, if we have to go spend two weeks, how do we do that financially and do a home base out of Ohio or Houston or something like that," Ashley Johnson, whose daughter has had several surgeries at the hospital, told 2 News.

Ascension St. John said in a statement to 2 News that pediatric ambulatory, surgical and neonatal ICU services will not be affected.

"This decision was based on both a community needs assessment along with a thoughtful analysis of services already being offered in the community," the statement said.

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