Photo Credit: Hadassah Medical Center
A nurse cares for a baby at Hadassah Medical Center-Ein Kerem's new pediatric COVID-19 ICU.

By Yori Yalon

As of Friday, there were four infants and toddlers hospitalized in a new intensive-care unit for children at Hadassah Medical Center-Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.

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Three of the children, who ranged in age from 13 days to two years old, were listed in serious condition.

The medical center reported that two of the infants suffered from “serious, chronic” pre-existing conditions.

“One of the children, age two, is in serious condition. The second, age six weeks, is in serious condition. The third, 13 days old, is in serious condition but stabilized, and the fourth, age nine months, who doesn’t have any preexisting conditions, is in serious condition,” the medical center reported on Friday.

Director of Hadassah Pediatric Intensive Care, Dr. Uri Polk, explained that the special coronavirus unit—the first of its kind in Israel—had been established to care for “children and infants with COVID-19 who need ventilators or intensive care by staff whose expertise is in putting children in a medically induced coma and caring for them in an intensive care setting.”

According to Polk, three of the patients in the new unit were in medically-induced comas and on ventilators due to serious lung conditions.

“Their condition is extremely serious,” Polk stressed.

Head nurse on the new unit Sonya Sharabi said, “These are babies whose parents, or other relatives, are also sick. The parents can come here if they’d like to be here 24/7, but they’re torn between caring for the other children at home and staying on the unit with the babies Some of them are constantly running back and forth between the hospital and home.”

“As staff members, we realize their immense difficulty. The babies need to be hugged, touched, and when there’s no parent by their side, it’s very hard to think about what they’re going through. We all try to help with everything, and of course there are staff members inside for hours at a time to watch over them closely,” Sharabi said.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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