Your Child’s Care at Sidra Medicine During the Coronavirus

Dear Parents,

We understand that bringing your child to the hospital for emergencies or for a scheduled hospital admission can be very stressful, however given the current situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Sidra Medicine has implemented safety measures for the well-being and safety of our patients, families and staff.

As a first step, we have already restricted the number of chaperones (authorized guardian representatives) up to two adults per child. While in most cases, the chaperones are usually parents, if they are unable to stay in the hospital with their child, they can designate two other responsible adults instead. It is important to note that the designated adults for each child cannot be changed.

We request that family members remain extremely vigilant in maintaining social distancing and infection control outside the Hospital area, before they arrive at Sidra Medicine. If designated adults have any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (fever, cough, breathlessness, runny nose, diarrhea, loss of smell or loss of taste), they must not visit the hospital.

All visitors must wear a mask before entering the hospital and would need to wear a mask at all times while inside the hospital. Parents, staying in the hospital with their child, will be supplied with masks.

Patients and visitors, in addition to undergoing a temperature check and answering some basic questions, will also be asked to show their status on the mandatory Ehteraz app on their smartphones before granting entry. If the status is not green they will not be allowed entry. Designated adults accompanying the children will need to inform us, at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled appointment or operation if they are unable to download the Ehteraz app as additional documents may be required.

Responsible Adults Accompanying the Child

All families who have a child admitted to Sidra Medicine will be asked to name up to two responsible adults (must be 18 years or over) to accompany the child. They will be called “designated adults” and be with the child during their stay. The details of the designated adults, including their Qatar ID, will need to be shared with our security team who will check all visitors on entry to the hospital.

Siblings of the patient are not allowed to accompany or visit the child during this time to protect the child, visitors and staff from infection. We request parents to make arrangements to keep their other children at home.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the family to designate up to two appropriate and responsible adults to accompany the child during their hospital stay.

Pre-arranged Admissions

Once a pre-arranged or scheduled admission has been determined for the pediatric patient, the patient and both of the designated adults will be instructed to report to a designated area in the hospital and will be tested for COVID-19. The test results will come out within 24 hours and if negative the admission will go ahead as planned.

Pediatric Emergency Department Admissions

For children who are admitted from the Pediatric Emergency Department at Sidra Medicine for urgent reasons, a test will be performed on both the patient and up to two designated adults who will accompany the child to their inpatient room.

It is important to have the two designated adults present in the Pediatric Emergency Department so they can be tested and waiting for the results and not delay the patient being transferred to their inpatient room. Care will be provided appropriately to the patient while waiting for the results. If patient is ready to be transferred upstairs and results were not back for both adults, only ONE adult (wearing medical mask at all times) should be allowed to accompany the child upstairs and the second adult should be advised to go home and await their results before being able to return to the hospital.

If results are back only for one adult, then THAT adult should be the only adult to accompany the child until the other adult’s test results are available.

*This would NOT apply to NICU as NICU pathway is for test results to be available before either adult is allowed access to visit the patient in the NICU.

Once the pediatric patient and two designated adults have been tested negative, the designated adults will be allowed to stay with the patient 24 hours a day until they are discharged home.

Emergency Admissions Directly Transferred from Other Hospitals

Children and babies will be tested for COVID-19 prior to transfer to their rooms at Sidra Medicine, and the test will need to be negative, unless their condition is time-critical, in which case they will undergo testing on arrival and be treated as COVID-19 positive until proven otherwise.

Designated adults will also be screened as well as tested by Sidra Medicine. Please note that if a child tests negative for COVID-19, and the designated adults have cleared the initial screening by Sidra Medicine but still waiting their test results, we will allow only one of the designated adults to go to the child’s room (provided they wear a mask) and the second adult to wait until their test results are back.

The exception is for babies admitted to NICU: it is a requirement that both designated adults (usually parents), have negative COVID test results prior to visiting NICU. Parents will be required to go home and maintain strict isolation until they are phoned with the result.

Dining/catering options and deliveries of food and baby supplies from outside

We have dining and catering options at Café Como for accompanying designated adults, however separate charges will apply. You may also order food from outside or have food delivered from your home. We have set up a designated entrance for such arrangements to be made, including the collection and drop off of clothing or additional supplies for the child or accompanying adults.

Please note that parents or designated adults are not allowed to eat in the child’s room. You or they may eat in the Healing Garden while maintaining a suitable physical distance from other patients or their families.

Please note that all items coming in from outside needs to be double-bagged in disposable plastic bags. That is, items whether food or essential supplies, should be packaged in two plastic bags – the outer plastic bag should be disposed before entering the hospital and an inner plastic bag which should feature the name and room number of the patient. It is our expectation that delivery personnel will follow health and safety guidelines by having been properly screened for infection and by wearing masks and medical gloves.

Short stay patients [up to five (5) days]

It is recommend for the designated adults to stay with the child throughout the duration of the child’s stay at the hospital (if less than five days). If one of the designated adults cannot stay with the child, a third adult will not be allowed to take their place. This is to maintain assurance and safety of the pediatric patient regarding the COVID-19 status of the adults who are staying with them. If one of the designated adults has to leave the hospital for any reason, they may not be allowed to re-enter the hospital. Nor will any further visitors be allowed entry to the hospital to see the patient.

This does not apply to parents of NICU patients: Parents of babies admitted to NICU may not have access to bathroom facilities and a comfortable bed, and so the arrangements for long stay patients (below) apply.

Long stay patients [more than five (5) days]

Different arrangements apply to designated adults responsible for long stay patients. The designated two adults (usually parents) will be tested for COVID-19. Assuming the test is negative, each designated adult will be screened for infection prior to visiting, (temperature and questions regarding symptoms), and must wear a mask at all times in the hospital. The adult will be re-tested for COVID-19 if they are screened as positive, and will not be allowed to visit until the test is known to be negative.

Sidra Medicine is not a hospital designated to treat or care for COVID-19 patients, however we are working closely with Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health regarding any patients who have been identified as positive and will follow their guidance should patients need to be transferred to a designated hospital.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause however our principle aim is to maintain Sidra Medicine as a safe environment for our patients, families and staff and to keep the hospital COVID-free. We thank you for your support and understanding.

If you have any queries, please dial 4003-3333, press #1 for general information and ask any needed questions for Pediatrics.