Children's will accept some adults as COVID-19 strains hospitals

Children's Wisconsin will now be accepting some older patients, officials announced Monday, Nov. 16. It's a way to help other hospitals in the state as they near capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Mike Gutzeit

Children's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mike Gutzeit said Monday the hospital could see some adults up to 26 years old in the next week. They will not be coronavirus patients. 

"This is certainly unprecedented," said Dr. Gutzeit.

As cases of the coronavirus plague Wisconsin, Children's is taking on a new challenge.

Children's Wisconsin

"One thing you learn in medicine is never say never, and never say always," said Dr. Gutzeit.

The hospital that normally treats kids will now accept some adult patients.

"We want to do what we do best, and we want to make sure the adult hospitals can do what they do best," said Dr. Gutzeit.

Children's Wisconsin

Dr. Gutzeit said within the next week, the hospital could see some adults up to 26 years old. Those patients will not be COVID-19 positive, but likely those with chronic diseases.

"What we’re looking to do is offload the patients that we can care for at Children’s Wisconsin that might have illness that we’re comfortable with," said Dr. Gutzeit.

This comes as hospitals in the state inch closer to capacity. It's a way to make sure they don't hit crisis levels.

Children's Wisconsin

"We feel that we have an important role and obligation to our community, so in conjunction with adult systems, this is the process that we came up with," said Dr. Gutzeit. "This is a way we feel is important to support our colleagues."

Dr. Gutzeit said children are still the top priority. Children's Wisconsin has about 300 beds. It has not been at capacity in the last month or more.