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1 year of JPCH: New pediatric sleep lab delivers big in first year

Reflecting back on the first full year of operations at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, there is one space in particular that has brought an added sense of calmness and ease to children requiring an overnight stay. The pediatric sleep lab is the first of its kind in Saskatchewan and has saved many families hours of travel in order to get the care they need for their child.

“We finally have a lab where we can do the whole analysis of sleep,” said Dr. Darryl Adamko, Head of Pediatric Respirology. “We are now analyzing kids with breathing disorders much better than we were before.”

The lab is located within Acute Care Pediatrics on the second floor of Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital. It includes two separate rooms plus a control room where lab technicians visually monitor and oversee the testing. The lab serves children who struggle with underlying complications that prevent a good night’s sleep – from snoring and airway obstructions, to mental health and brain disorders.

Dr. Darryl Adamko

One Saskatoon family describes the new lab as a lifesaver now that they can stay closer to home for treatment for their nine-year-old son, Madden, who was born with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS) and Hirschsprung’s Disease. His condition is one of 1200 known cases in the world.

“CCHS impacts his central nervous system which impacts his ability to breathe. It tends to be more during sleep, so he needs regular monitoring,” said Madden’s mom Allisha. “The sleep lab was a long wait for us. Madden had always been pretty fearful of medical procedures but his experience in the new sleep lab was flawless.”

Previously, Madden and his family travelled frequently to Edmonton and Calgary for testing and treatments. Allisha explained that it was not just the sleep lab itself that helped Madden have a good experience in the new hospital, but the sleep lab technicians who helped make the whole experience less scary.

Nine-year-old Madden

Despite a difficult year with COVID-19, Adamko and the sleep technicians managed to keep the wait list low for families with children requiring sleep tests. Within the first year of operating, the sleep lab saw over 330 children. Of those, 44 per cent were from rural areas of Saskatchewan.

“The lab techs did a lot of learning since they began last fall when the hospital opened,” said Adamko. “There were new pieces of equipment to learn and they learned to work with kids. It’s difficult to find pediatric sleep techs, but we’re grateful to have these three who are so dedicated to their job.”

“We are so grateful to Saskatchewan donors who help outfit important spaces like the sleep lab at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital,” said Lynn Redl-Huntington, Vice-President, Communications at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Now more than ever, keeping families close to home is necessary.”

If you are interested in a major gift opportunity to support this space or others, please contact Kristina with Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation at 306.931.4887.

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