Mercyhealth cites low census as reason for closing PICU

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Mercyhealth closed its Pediatric Intensive Care Unit today, saying the metro population is not great enough to justify its continued operation.

Mercyhealth announced it would be closing the PICU in April.

Mercy administrators said, on average, only three pediatric beds were being used every day. Mercy also noted that adult beds can be used for children, but pediatric beds cannot be used for adults.

Mercyhealth said in a statement that “We will continue to provide general pediatric hospitalization services. We will continue to provide the majority of our pediatric specialists as well as all our neonatal and maternal/fetal medicine services including our Level III NICU, Small Baby Unit, maternal/neonatal transport teams and our State of Illinois Designated Regional Perinatal Center.”

“Our Rockton and Riverside Emergency Departments will continue to provide comprehensive services and meet the defined pediatric emergency care requirements to support our pediatric population. They are both are recognized by the State of Illinois EMS for Children Program (EMSC) as emergency departments approved for Pediatrics (EDAP).”

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