Rapid Implementation of an Adult Coronavirus Disease 2019 Unit in a Children's Hospital

Kaitlyn Philips, Audrey Uong, Tara Buckenmyer, Michael D. Cabana, Daphne Hsu, Chhavi Katyal, Katherine O'Connor, Tania Shiminski-Maher, Patricia Hametz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the rapid implementation of an adult coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) unit using pediatric physician and nurse providers in a children's hospital and to examine the characteristics and outcomes of the first 100 adult patients admitted. Study design: We describe our approach to surge-in-place at a children's hospital to meet the local demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of redeploying pediatric providers to work with internist-led teams throughout a medical center, pediatric physicians and nurses organized and staffed a 40-bed adult COVID-19 treatment unit within a children's hospital. We adapted internal medicine protocols, developed screening criteria to select appropriate patients for admission, and reorganized staffing and equipment to accommodate adult patients with COVID-19. We used patient counts and descriptive statistics to report sociodemographic, system, and clinical outcomes. Results: The median patient age was 46 years; 69% were male. On admission, 78 (78%) required oxygen supplementation. During hospitalization, 13 (13%) eventually were intubated. Of the first 100 patients, 14 are still admitted to a medical unit, 6 are in the intensive care unit, 74 have been discharged, 4 died after transfer to the intensive care unit, and 2 died on the unit. The median length of stay for discharged or deceased patients was 4 days (IQR 2, 7). Conclusions: Our pediatric team screened, admitted, and cared for hospitalized adults by leveraging the familiarity of our system, adaptability of our staff, and high-quality infrastructure. This experience may be informative for other healthcare systems that will be redeploying pediatric providers and nurses to address a regional COVID-19 surge elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-27
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • adult management
  • coronavirus
  • hospitalization
  • pediatrics
  • surge capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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