Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus held a ribbon cutting March 25 to celebrate the expansion of its sleep center, making it one of the largest pediatric centers in the country and the hospital’s largest location, according to a press release.
The hospital renovated the 30,000-square-foot sleep center to add three beds for a total of nine, said Binal Kancherla, pediatric pulmonologist and medical director of the sleep medicine service.
“The community need for this expansion was overwhelming,” Jenn Jacome, the hospital’s assistant director of public relations, said in the press release. “The hospital receives hundreds of referrals every week for children with complex medical needs who need sleep evaluations, many of whom were turned away from other clinics.”
Texas Children’s Hospital is among the few accredited centers in the U.S. that specialize in children’s sleep disorders, according to the release. The center includes a sleep laboratory where children are cared for and examined safely for narcolepsy, sleepwalking, seizures and other underlying medical and neurological issues that impact sleep.
“The team completes, on average, 4,200 sleep studies each year, yet there are as many as an additional 4,500 children annually who are on a waitlist in need of a study,” Jacome said in the release.
This is not the sleep center’s first expansion, Kancherla said. The hospital started with three beds in 2010 when it first opened. Five years ago, it expanded to six beds.
Kancherla added that the center will continue to hire nurses, sleep technologists, administrative help and physicians until it is fully staffed to handle 15 beds in the next two or three years. This will make the West Campus location the largest pediatric sleep center in the country, she said. After that, the hospital intends to increase by three beds annually.
The Woodlands Texas Children’s Hospital location has three beds, and the Medical Center has five, Kancherla said. There are plans to expand the program at other locations, but there are no concrete plans yet, she added.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct pronouns when discussing information supplied by Binal Kancherla.