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Timing is everything, especially when it comes to the care of critically-ill or injured children. With faster metabolisms, less blood and fluid reserves and a higher sensitivity to changes in body temperature, a child’s condition can rapidly change from stable to life-threatening. Timely access to appropriate medical care and the ability to rapidly identify and respond to changes in a child’s condition can mean the difference between a complete recovery and significant long-term impairment and disability. Timing can mean the difference between life and death.
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The Alberta Children’s Hospital is home to specialists who are nationally- and internationally-recognized for helping to continuously improve the delivery of pediatric emergency care, through evidence-based research, translation of new knowledge into practice, and by developing tools and simulation programs that fine-tune the skills of health care professionals in emergency situations.

Today, thanks in large part to community support, we are building on existing strengths in all areas of Life-Saving Care, including emergency medicine, trauma and resuscitation, intensive care, surgery, and neuro-critical care.

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Little-Square-Yellow.gifEmergency - Nearly 76,000 times a year, a child is rushed to the Emergency Department at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in need of specialized medical care. Time is of the essence in assessing and diagnosing kids and getting them started with the right treatment. 

Little-Square-Yellow.gifTrauma and Resuscitation - About 100 of the children needing Emergency care suffer from major trauma related to falls, motor vehicle collisions, sports, animals, and drowning. To treat their injuries, the Alberta Children’s Hospital has a team of experts specially-trained in trauma response.

Little-Square-Yellow.gifIntensive Care - More than a thousand times a year, children in our community experience illnesses or injuries so severe that they require minute-to-minute life-saving care. As a result, nearly 900 kids are admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Another 255 are admitted to the Edwards Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) – babies often fighting for their lives as a result of problems associated with premature birth, severe illness, or change to life outside the womb.

Little-Square-Yellow.gifSurgery - Each year, children undergo surgery for everything from airway issues to tumours, spine repair and complex reconstruction. With the expertise to provide a comprehensive range of specialized procedures, our hospital performs more than 10,000 operations annually – making ours one of the busiest pediatric surgical centres in Canada.

Little-Square-Yellow.gifNeuroCritical CareEven with excellent emergency, trauma, intensive care and surgical services, medical experts around the world recognize that the best treatments available today for children suffering brain injury and illness need improvement. That’s why our hospital has created a program unlike any in Canada that aims to not only save children's lives, but save their quality of life as well.

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Thanks to you, the Alberta Children's Hospital is home to:

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NeuroCritical Care
Meet Cherish
Transport Program
Meet Roger

NCC thumbnailNeuroCritical Care (NCC) Program-  A first-of-its-kind program in Canada that unites experts within Neurology, Neo-natal Intensive Care and Pediatric Intensive Care who focus on preserving brain function by intervening early, continuously, and using the child’s molecular signature to inform treatment decisions. Thanks to community support helping launch this program, it has  begun delivering immediate and personalized care to children whose brains are at risk due to critical conditions such as traumatic brain injury, brain tumours, preterm birth, stroke, epilepsy and spinal cord disorders. In a relatively short time, the NCC program has already significantly cut the degree of impairment from brain injuries resulting from a number of illnesses and injuries

What we fund - transportPediatric Critical Care Transport Program - The Transport team is able to help children needing life-saving care across southern Alberta, southwestern Saskatchewan and southeastern British Columbia  - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When a child is critically-ill or injured, every second counts. Sometimes that means bringing the experts and the latest equipment to the child. The PCCTP is like a portable Pediatric Intensive Care Unit - stabilizing and then transporting seriously ill kids by ground ambulance, fixed wing airplane or helicopter to the Alberta Children’s Hospital where they can benefit from the its full intensive care resources. Last year, the transport team helped more than 200 who were too sick to be cared for in their home communities. Read more

KeyholeSurgical Excellence - Our hospital has developed nationally-recognized expertise in minimally-invasive surgery – an alternative to conventional “open” procedures. Surgeons use tiny incisions that reduce the risk of infection, create less scarring, and result in quicker recovery times for children so they can return home sooner. Generous donor support has been instrumental in expanding capabilities in the operating room, including the funding of advanced surgical technology such as: 

 Little-Square-Yellow.gifHigh-definition minimally-invasive surgical camera systems – Special cameras essential to performing minimally invasive surgery. With such small incisions, surgeons rely on cameras to guide them and help navigate inside the body. These cameras enable them to see every vein, every organ and every piece of tissue as if they were looking with their own eyes.

Little-Square-Yellow.gif State-of-the-art navigation systems for brain surgery that integrates real-time 3D images, pre-operative imaging scans and hi-tech tracked instruments so surgeons can see through a child’s skull and tissue into the centre of the brain - enabling them to operate with much greater precision.

Innovative Programs - Life-saving Care

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Meet Lexxie
Meet Hudson

Little-Square-Yellow.gifExtracorporeal Life Support – In 2011, community donations enabled the hospital to invest in life-saving technology called Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) that is giving some of our community’s most critically-ill children a chance at survival they wouldn’t have had otherwise. ECLS uses heart-lung bypass technology to keep kids’ hearts and lungs working until vital organs can heal. ECLS is a complex, invasive procedure that involves many specialists in the room at the same time – all working together to save the child’s life. Nineteen Calgary children are alive today because of the new ECLS program. 

KidSIM OpeningLittle-Square-Yellow.gifKidSIM – The Alberta Children’s Hospital is home to KidSIM – a world-leading pediatric simulation program focused both on clinical care and research. Like flight simulation for pilots, KidSIM gives health care professionals each year the opportunity to fine-tune life-saving skills by performing trauma and resuscitation drills on hi-tech mannequins in high-pressure situations. Thanks to community support, in addition to training more than 3500 health care providers each year, the KidSIM team is now also training families so they are better equipped to manage the medical needs of their chronically-ill children at home. 

While most people would prefer not to think about children in life-threatening situations, specialists at the Alberta Children’s Hospital know that being ready for health emergencies – with the right people, the right training, and the right tools – helps them to save lives.

The hospital is committed to leading advancements which have a direct impact on the survival, care and long-term outcomes of children in our community and beyond.

    There are always GREAT events going on in support of the Alberta Children's Hospital!                                                  

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