90ºF

Inside the Texas Children’s Isolation Unit that is treating adults with COVID-19

KATY, Texas – Texas Children's Hospital said they are committed to providing additional capacity through ICU and acute care beds to take on both pediatric and adult patients.

Their West Campus has been equipped to isolate highly contagious pediatric patients since ebola was a threat. Back then, Texas Children’s said with jet travel across the globe so common, any illness that exists in Africa, Asia or anywhere can be in Houston within a day.

Five years later, that statement is more accurate than ever and their Special Isolation Unit has been expanded to have an area for adults with COVID-19.

“At the time it was built, it was the first pediatric SIU or Biocontainment Unit in the country. What sets this unit apart is that it is specifically designed to care for individuals with highly-contagious diseases, such as COVID-19. Our SIU is capable of all levels of isolation with technology including HEPA filtration, negative pressure rooms and isolated air handling. Additionally, it is staffed by an expert team of health professionals who undergo frequent training to ensure we deliver the best care possible to our patients,” said Amy Arrington, MD, the medical director of the Special Isolation Unit at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.

The SIU has secured doors. Only the members of the special response team have access to this area. The air doesn’t circulate but instead gets filtered and removed from the hospital. All of the waste, bedsheets, needles and masks are taken to be sterilized before they are disposed of.

Texas Children’s knows they are needed as things get difficult for healthcare workers across our area and they ask you to take responsible actions: practice appropriate social distancing, wear a mask anytime you leave your home, wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, and avoid touching your face.