Watch CBS News

Tufts Medical Center Converting Its Children's Hospital Into Adult ICU

BOSTON (CBS) -- Tufts Children's Hospital, formerly known as the Floating Hospital For Children, is being converted into an adult ICU.

Hospital operator Wellforce said Thursday that the 41 pediatric beds will instead be used for an adult ICU and medical/surgical beds, due to "increasing demand from critically ill adults." Pediatric patients needing acute care will be referred to Boston Children's Hospital in a collaboration between the two health care systems.

"The number of adult patients in need of highly specialized medical care at Tufts Medical Center has risen dramatically – so much so that the hospital is forced to turn away hundreds of patients each month," Tufts said in a statement. "At the same time, projections suggest fewer children will need hospitalization and those who do need inpatient treatment will have more serious health issues than ever before, requiring advanced, highly focused systems of care."

Tufts Medical Center will continue to operate its 40-bed Level 3 neonatal ICU.

The changes are expected to take effect in July. Tufts said COVID-19 was not behind the decision.

"The timing of this inside the pandemic may seem unusual, but this is a conversation that we've had for a while and something that we needed to move forward with," Tufts Medical Center CEO Dr. Michael Tarnoff said.

Tufts pediatric hospital in downtown Boston was called the Floating Hospital For Children for 125 years before a name change in 2020. The hospital for sick and injured infants, children and teenagers was founded as a hospital ship in Boston Harbor in 1894, as medical experts back then believed the fresh ocean air would be beneficial to patients. The ship was destroyed in a fire in 1927 and moved to land in 1931.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.