COVID-19 Updates for Heart Families – January 20, 2021
January 20, 2021

A Message from the Pediatric Cardiology Team

Our Pediatric Cardiology team continues to be here to support you in any way we can through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on all we know to date regarding COVID-19 and our experience from the National Surveillance Program, most children, including children with heart disorders, are expected to have a mild case of COVID-19 should they contract it. Please continue to follow all the COVID-19 precautions and recommendations which are updated regularly on the Saskatchewan Government Website (see here).

COVID-19 Vaccination (as per above website) began in Saskatchewan on Dec 22, 2020 with Phase 1 targeting high risk groups. Phase 2, widespread access to the general population in mass immunization clinics, is anticipated to begin in April 2021 or sooner if vaccine supplies allow.

Pediatric Cardiology Clinics at JPCH in Saskatoon continue to run with restricted numbers. Outreach clinics in Regina re-opened over Sept-Nov 2020, but have since re-closed. So, we are still having to prioritize all clinic bookings according to the severity of your child’s heart disorder and some interim assessments will still need to be done by phone. If you think your child’s regular follow-up appointment is significantly overdue and you are concerned, please phone our office at (306) 844-1235.

Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology Procedure bookings have continued throughout the pandemic for urgent procedures with no restrictions and for non-urgent procedures according to priority. If you are concerned about any delay in booking of your child’s procedure, please phone our office at (306) 844-1235.

Recommendations for Children with Heart Disorders Attending School or Childcare continue to be based on what we know currently. Most children with heart disorders can attend school or childcare as per the Safe Schools Plan on the Saskatchewan Government Website (see here). A small number (<1%) of children with heart disorders may be at greater risk from COVID-19 as follows: (1) un-operated cyanotic heart disease; (2) severe pulmonary hypertension; (3) severe heart failure; (4) failing Fontan including protein losing enteropathy; and (5) those waiting for or within the early months following heart transplant, following intensified anti-rejection therapy, with unstable graft function, or if other severe comorbidities exist. If you are concerned about your child attending school or childcare because of one of these heart disorders, please phone our office at (306) 844-1235.

Pediatric Cardiology Team announces new members: Dr. Ravneet Sekhon, new Pediatric Cardiologist, joined for a 1-year locum position on January 18, 2021; Jenn Wig, new Pediatric Cardiology Clinic Nurse, joined on September 14, 2020; and Sidney Kusters is now our Pediatric Cardiology Social Worker.

Our team is working hard to keep your loved ones safe and healthy. Thank you for all your patience and support for our team.

For more support resources, please refer to our COVID-19 Resources for Heart Families post. 

Take care and stay healthy,

The Pediatric Cardiology Team, JPCH