A Campaign in Support of Connecticut Children’s New Infusion & Dialysis Center

3,400

That’s how many infusions take place each
year at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

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While the number of pediatric patients requiring regular intravenous (IV) infusions is large, the room in which they receive them is not. Equipped with only six infusion chairs, the 363-square-foot room built in the Gastroenterology Division in 1996 can no longer comfortably accommodate our growing patient population. Although the infusion room remains functional, it is often crowded and offers little privacy for patients and their families; overcrowding, in turn, can lead to some children receiving their infusions in distant areas of the hospital, creating additional stress and anxiety for young patients.

Meanwhile, those who need pediatric outpatient dialysis services must travel to distant locations, such as Boston, New York or Philadelphia. This means children as young as 15 months of age who need these services to live must travel to adult dialysis centers elsewhere in the state.

But with your help, we can change all that.

As a world-class, nationally renowned medical center, Connecticut Children’s is committed to providing the best care possible for all patients. With your gift, we can help even more children by creating a larger center where kids can receive infusions — and outpatient dialysis services — in comfort and privacy.

We invite you to join us as we create a new Infusion & Dialysis Center at Connecticut Children’s — a first-class center, where children throughout the state and across the region can receive world-class care close to home.


First-Class Center, World-Class Care

Infusion therapy can be an isolating and challenging experience for children with chronic conditions. For some children, infusions can begin at a very early age, shaping what may become a “new normal” for them. At Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, we are committed to enhancing the care experience for these patients. With philanthropic support, we will create a new state-of-the-art Infusion & Dialysis Center in a single, centralized location to meet the unique needs of pediatric patients who require this type of therapy. With your support, this new space will improve the overall care experience for children and their families as well as provide an opportunity to offer outpatient dialysis services for the very first time. This new Infusion & Dialysis Center will allow us to address the need for additional clinical space, optimize care and expand services for an ever-increasing number of pediatric patients.

With your help, we will build a first-class center, where Connecticut Children’s pediatric specialists will deliver world-class care to even more children from across the region.

WHO NEEDS INFUSION THERAPY?

Infusion is the term for administering drugs and treatments intravenously when a child’s illness is serious enough that oral or injected drugs cannot do the job. For some patients, a single visit may be all that’s needed, but for patients with more challenging conditions, like Crohn’s disease, the need for infusion is ongoing, requiring weekly or monthly visits that can last all day and may go on for years.

Infusions can range from 30 minutes to eight hours, depending on the condition being treated. At Connecticut Children’s, infusion therapy is administered to infants, children and adolescents who require intravenous therapy for a variety of acute and chronic illnesses, such as gastrointestinal disorders, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, infectious diseases, immune deficiencies and endocrinology disorders, to name a few.


GROWING BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS

Since opening in Hartford in 1996, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center has been constantly growing, adding services, staff and equipment. But as our reputation and our capabilities have grown, so too has the number of families and children seeking our services. As a result, we find ourselves requiring more space. One of the areas in greatest need of expansion is our infusion facilities — often small spaces tucked away in tight quarters throughout the Medical Center.

Currently, very sick patients receive infusions on the inpatient floors, in the Hematology/Oncology Clinic or in the Emergency Department (ED). This can affect care. If a cancer patient is in urgent need of an infusion and no chairs are available in Hematology/Oncology, for example, the patient would be sent to the ED to undergo treatment. This occurs at least twice a month. Treatment for a chronic illness in the ED not only reduces the capacity of the ED, it is a stressful setting for infusion patients and their families.

The infusion room in the Gastroenterology Division is equipped with six infusion chairs. But as the need continues to outgrow the 363-square-foot space, patients and their families may begin to feel confined and restricted in this crowded room. For young children, this space becomes even more intimidating when there
isn’t a place to regroup and find relief from the invasive procedures required for infusion therapies. In nearly all cases, there is very little privacy for children who require infusion therapy, and there isn’t enough space for their families to stay with them.


A STRATEGY FOR CHANGE

With donor support, Connecticut Children’s is planning to build a new Infusion & Dialysis Center, where infusions for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, kidney disease and a host of other chronic conditions will be administered in a single location. (Hematology/Oncology patients will continue to be treated in the Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders.)

Connecticut Children’s currently administers more than 3,000 infusions each year. As infusion volumes continue to rise, the new Infusion & Dialysis Center will enable us to handle the increase in an open, child-friendly space that allows for private treatment bays large enough to accommodate families. The number of infusion chairs will increase from six to 13, with three dedicated to pediatric outpatient dialysis — a service not currently available in the state, making Connecticut Children’s the first and only Medical Center in our region to offer it. The new Infusion & Dialysis Center will feature state-of-the-art equipment and, of course, the most dedicated and caring staff anywhere.

Connecticut Children’s new Infusion & Dialysis Center will be used by patients being cared for by the following Divisions:
• Gastroenterology
• Rheumatology
• Infectious Disease
• Endocrinology
• Genetics
• Neurology
• Cardiology
• Pulmonology
• Urology/Nephrology


Summary

From Gastroenterology patients with inflammatory bowel disease to Neurology patients with immune-mediated neurological or genetic disorders and Endocrinology patients with severe bone diseases, a new Infusion & Dialysis Center at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center will greatly enhance the quality of care for our pediatric patients. Not only will it benefit patients requiring infusion therapy, but it also will provide the first pediatric outpatient dialysis center in the state. It will also increase efficiency of nursing staff and shared resources, and it will offer children and their families the opportunity to socialize and build relationships, while receiving the highest quality of care across the region.

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