The pediatric cardiac unit at the Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg is moving to its own floor after operating over-capacity for its current space for many years.

Since the hospital opened in 1987, the number of patients the unit sees each year has increased from 1,500 to 6,000. Medical director Dr. Reeni Soni said this is the result of better care and higher survival rates.

“With that increased survival comes increased clinic visits, increased tests that need to be done to keep an eye on things and test to make sure things are still doing well,” she said.

Soni said that for the last few decades the unit has had safety measures in place so they “can continue until [they] are ready for that move.”

The new unit, which will be in another area of the Health Sciences Centre, will also have more private rooms and space for families to play.

“It will be so nice for those families to have some privacy and just a little more space to breathe,” said Janaya Wiebe, whose son has visited the pediatric cardiac unit.

- With files from Michelle Gerwing