Oswego Hospital is considering closing its pediatric unit.
Over the past five years, the number of children admitted to the hospital has declined by more than 70 percent.
"Many complex factors may be involved," the hospital said in a statement to CNYCentral. "Including such things as aging demographics, the opening of the Golisano Children's Hospital, and even physicians' increased use of using modern pharmaceuticals and other outpatient therapies to meet the healthcare needs of Oswego County children."
"While it is true that Oswego Hospital is currently evaluating how best to provide pediatric services to serve patients in Oswego County in the future, it is important to emphasize that no final decisions have been made at this time," a hospital spokesperson said.
"Right now, the hospital is getting input from its medical staff regarding the types of pediatric services necessary to best serve children in Oswego County in the future. There are no formal plans or firm recommendations to close the pediatric unit. As a community-based hospital, Oswego Health recognizes its responsibility to use its valuable but limited resources for our local community's greatest benefit as healthcare needs change," the statement said. "This requires a careful and exhaustive examination of the situation and issues. Once we have determined the best path forward, Oswego Hospital will openly communicate regarding any changes to be implemented, and the reasons for them."
The pediatric unit has 12 beds on the third floor. All nurses in the unit are trained in Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and it is staffed 24/7.
Even if Oswego Hospital decides to shut down its pediatric unit, it would have to go through the New York State Health Department first. The hospital would need to make an application, which would need approval by the State Health Department or the Public Health and Health Planning Council.