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Primary children’s hospital delays surgery amid ‘unprecedented’ RSV surge

 


About 10% of scheduled non-urgent procedures in hospitals were delayed this week.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. About 10% of pre-scheduled non-urgent procedures were delayed at children’s hospitals in Utah this week. ‘Unprecedented’ surge in RSV cases.

The Primary Children’s Hospital announced Monday that it was postponing pre-scheduled surgeries and hospital procedures due to a surge in the RSV surge of respiratory illness among local children.

About 50 surgeries have been delayed at Intermountain Children’s Hospital this week, representing about 10% of previously scheduled surgeries, Jennifer Toomer-Cook, a hospital spokesperson, said Monday afternoon. Told.

These delayed surgeries are not urgent but required young patients to recover in bed for more than a day, including certain major orthopedic surgeries and complex abdominal surgeries. A health and primary education expert at the University of Utah said:

“I have no intention of delaying an operation that puts my child at risk, but I know it will be a little inconvenient and costly,” Pavia said.

‘Unprecedented’ surge

The goal of the move, announced Monday, is to free up beds for incoming sick patients. Is not.

“We don’t take this action lightly,” Pavia said at a news conference on Monday.

These measures include placing two hospitalized children in a single patient room and converting other clinic spaces into inpatient rooms, Pavia said. But he called his RSV surge this year “unprecedented.”

“Nevertheless, we are completely crammed,” he said of the hospital on Monday. The problem is finding a way to make it work.”

As of Monday, the majority of primary children’s patients had been hospitalized with RSV, or the “respiratory syncytial” virus, Pavia said. RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild colds. cause symptoms such as According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, in children under 1 year of age, RSV is the most common cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis, or inflammation of the small airways.

Pavia said the surge in RSV cases in the region has been accompanied by an increase in COVID-19 cases, as well as a recent significant increase in influenza cases among children. Some children currently hospitalized have multiple viruses.

An ongoing staff shortage has exacerbated the problem, he said, and said staff at the hospital, like those at other facilities, have been operating at “full speed” for the better part of three years. “People were exhausted and people were leaving,” he said.

“We are really taking this step as a way to provide the best and safest care for children in need,” Pavia said. It is inconvenient for some families.”

What are the warning signs parents should look out for?

Children who are most at risk for serious complications of RSV are often unable to tell if they have breathing difficulties.

Pavia advised concerned parents to watch their infant’s chest to see if the skin between and under their baby’s ribs is moving. Infants who become dehydrated because they do not hold onto the breast or bottle for too long may also have trouble breathing.

Any of these warning signs are reasons to call your child’s doctor, Pavia said.

RSV can appear like a cold in some children under the age of two. However, congestion caused by infection can also lead to wheezing and other signs of difficulty breathing and should be evaluated, Pavia said.

It is unclear why the recent surge in RSV is hitting children so hard now. Pavia speculated that many community mitigation measures, including social distancing and masking, implemented in 2020 and her 2021 may have helped children avoid such viruses. did.

Now, he advised parents of infants to keep their children at home and not allow them to visit sick loved ones. It can manifest itself in much more serious ways in children.

In the meantime, he advised people to get flu shots because the flu is hitting local adults hard too. , advised people to stay up-to-date on the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I have children who have had multiple surgeries at Primary Children’s, so I know how difficult this is for some families,” Pavia said of the procedure delay announced Monday. If there is, we won’t do it.”

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