Texas children's hospital opens infectious disease unit

Cook Children's Medical Center has built an infectious diseases critical care unit to better care for patients with contagious illnesses and prevent spread, the Fort Worth, Texas-based system said Oct. 11. 

The six-bed unit features specialized air ventilation systems, dedicated space for visitors and employees to don and doff personal protective equipment, as well as tech that allows clinicians to closely monitor patients from afar. 

"These units will be used in an effort to place potentially contagious patients in one area," said Mary Suzanne Whitworth, MD, medical director of infectious diseases at Cook Children's. "The goal is to have everybody in one unit with every employee in that specific unit dedicated to being experts in proper PPE donning and doffing, patient and visitor flow and all of the aspects of interrupting the spread of an infectious disease." 

The new unit also includes a 24-hour solutions center meant to serve as a one-stop shop for staff and guests who need assistance with an operations issue across any Cook Children's facility. The medical center also recently added a 32-bed medical surgical unit. 

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