Nationwide Children’s Hospital in DC is near capacity – GNT NEWS

As cold and flu season ramps up, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in DC says it’s nearing capacity — and doesn’t expect that to change anytime soon.

The hospital cited a large increase in emergency room visits for respiratory illnesses. The problems are exacerbated by a nationwide shortage of healthcare workers, Children’s National said in a statement.

“We see a very high number of very sick children here at Children’s National in the emergency department and in the inpatient units,” said Dr. Sarah Combs, an emergency medicine physician and director of the hospital’s outpatient clinic.

All 328 hospital beds at the Children’s National Hospital were full during the week of October 6, according to the latest figures released by the US Department of Health and Human Services. About 2% of ICU beds were available (Children’s National Hospital briefly reached capacity in September 2021 as RSV and COVID-19 cases surged).

Doctors and nurses are noticing an early increase in the number of children who have flu-like symptoms and RSV. RSV usually causes mild cold-like symptoms, but the infection can be dangerous for some vulnerable groups, including premature babies and infants under 6 months of age. Here are the symptoms to look out for.

From September 10 to October 8, the five-week average of RSV infections detected by antigen tests nearly doubled in the Mid-Atlantic region, According to the CDC. The RSV season typically peaks from late December to mid-February, and then cases decline from April to May, the CDC said.

An overcrowded hospital means a long wait in the emergency room.

The hospital says it will provide emergency care to patients with life-threatening emergencies and is implementing measures to handle more patients.

In non-urgent cases, the hospital asks parents to consider taking their children to their primary care provider or urgent care to avoid long waits.

When should a child go to the emergency room versus an emergency room?

dr. Combs said children should go to the emergency room if they’re struggling to breathe — if they can’t get air in or out, or if they’re gasping for breath.

According to the National Institutes of Health’s MedlinePlus website, you should take your child to the emergency room for problems including breathing problems, fainting, allergic reactions, high fever, confusion, heavy bleeding, and a sudden inability to talk, see, walk, or move. Here’s the full list.

Urgent care clinics are a good choice for common illnesses, low temperatures, and minor injuries, MedlinePlus says.

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