RSV Cases High: ICU Units at UCSF Children’s Hospitals at Capacity

ICU units in Bay Area children’s hospitals are at capacity due to an outbreak of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and other respiratory diseases, prompting them to transfer pediatric patients to other floors.

Just after Halloween, Orange County declared a health emergency due to an RSV outbreak among the county’s children. San Francisco and Oakland recently saw their highest volume days for patient admission of RSV infections than at any other time during the previous five years, despite the fact that no such order has been implemented in the Bay Area.

According to Dr. Jackie Grupp-Phelan, the division chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, who is in charge of both the Oakland and San Francisco institutions, the current respiratory outbreaks among children are basically their “March 2020.”

According to Grupp-Phelan, “Our ICUs are full.” 

Both Bay Area hospitals, according to Grupp-Phelan, maintain patients well outside the bounds of their respective cities; they frequently accept numerous transfers from other hospitals, which has increased the strain each is already under from the rise in the number of patients being admitted with respiratory illnesses.

“Children who we typically admit from the outside into our intensive care units and into our acute care side of the hospital have been unable to do so. Right now, the effects are really serious for us “said Grupp-Phelan.

There are currently no FDA-approved RSV-specific drugs or vaccines that are accessible to the general public to prevent RSV infections. Grupp-Phelan and other medical experts advise parents to keep a watch out for symptoms of acute infections in place of such vaccinations and treatments.

Treatment of symptoms as soon as they appear and consultation with a primary care physician is the best way to assist children and the elderly, the two groups most susceptible to severe RSV infections that necessitate hospitalization.

“What parents can check for is increased labor of breathing, inability to consume liquids, inability to urinate at least twice or three times a day, and looking more listless or less active,” she advises the news source. “We would definitely want to check in with our primary care physician on these topics.”

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