Extreme measures to protect premature babies from COVID

Protecting premature babies from COVID-19 is no small task, but the many measures put in place in the neonatology department of CHU Sainte-Justine have made it possible to keep the coronavirus outside this neuralgic department.

Placed at a “high security” level since the start of the pandemic, visitors who can access them must follow a very strict protocol.

In addition to having to wash your hands before entering, you can’t have a cell phone with you, and you don’t need jewelry. Other measures have also been tightened.

“We use negative pressure chambers, that is really to avoid transmission, but they are located inside a zone that we have created, called the lukewarm or hot zone”, explained the head of the neonatal intensive care unit, Martin Reichherzer.

“These are single rooms, and all measures are respected. The personnel entering there wear all the protective equipment that is required according to the instructions, ”he stressed.

“We didn’t have a positive baby [à la COVID]. We had suspected cases, less than 10, ”said Dr Reichherzer.

Each year the neonatology department of CHU Sainte-Justine welcomes 1,000 premature children.

The health crisis remains difficult for parents of premature children. The demand for psychological support has increased by 15% in these times of pandemic, indicated the organization Préma Québec.


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