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LSU Health to expand pediatric services - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

LSU Health to expand pediatric services

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

With Sutton Children's Medical Center closing, LSU Health is looking to make up some of the gaps.
 
As the closest emergency department to CHRISTUS Schumpert, the hospital will expand it's pediatric services in August.

On Aug. 12, child emergency services at Sutton moved to the adult emergency department of Schumpert.
 
On Sept. 6, all emergency services will move from Schumpert to Highland Medical Center on Bert Kouns.
 
In the meantime, LSU emergency services are working to put a bigger emphasis on pediatric emergency services. 

Dr. Joseph Bocchini said the hospital has always had an emphasis on kids, but now the hours will change with more staff working during key hours between 4:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. 

"The significant increase in volume of pediatric visits typically occurs during that timeframe. So, we're going to meet that demand ahead of time and then, based on the total demand, we can determine whether we need to expand further or for increased periods of time during the day," said Dr. Bocchini.

LSU now has ten pediatric exam rooms. That number will increase come Sept. 1.
  
"We expect to have four additional rooms open and there is an opportunity to add more if needed," said Bocchini.
 
CHRISTUS will no longer have a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) following the transition to Highland.
 
LSU and other local healthcare providers are working together to compensate for the loss.

Also, the team at Fiest-Weiller Cancer Center has been joined by a second pediatric oncologist.

The two doctors specialize in cancer and blood disorders, like sickle cell anemia, that are prevalent across Louisiana.

Bocchini says the expansion in pediatric care is being funded by money already in the hospital's budget. 

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