Lexington hospitals seeing more young patients with COVID-19 as virus spreads

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 6:06 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky Children’s Hospital tells us the rising COVID-19 numbers are leading to more sick kids. They say 40% of the children who have been admitted during the pandemic have been within the last two weeks.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Kentucky Children’s Hospital has only had to treat 10 kids for severe COVID.

“Which doesn’t sound like a lot, however four of those 10 have been within the past two weeks. And two of those 10 have been within the past two days,” said Dr. Sean McTigue.

They’ve also had dozens admitted for the condition known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, which can develop after a child has recovered from COVID.

“Most of them remain in the hospital for a long time, requiring medicines that raise the blood pressure and get quite ill. To drive that point home we have had patients, a patient who has required essentially life-support,” said Dr. Matthew Bacon.

That, combined with other respiratory illnesses such as RSV, has left pediatricians worried about the coming weeks.

“We have had times in the summer where we’ve had to go on regional divert. Basically to try to find other beds to send children who try to get transferred in. That is extremely abnormal this time of year for us,” Dr. Bacon said.

On Friday, UK healthcare will go back to restricted visitations.

They aren’t the only hospital impacted. Baptist Health scaled its visitation back last week. They’re also having to divert some resources.

“You know we’ve had to take a hard look at our elective surgeries again and our medical staff is aware of the fact that we’re requesting that elective procedures be postponed if at all possible,” Dr. James Borders said.

All three doctors told us there is only one way they see getting out of the pandemic.

“Truly, the single most important message is people must get vaccinated. There is no other truth that is more important than that one,” Dr. Borders said.

Dr. McTigue has a message for people who point out that most kids will be fine if they get COVID.

“The vast majority of children who do become infected with COVID will either be asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. However, there is no way to ensure that your child is going to be the one who is asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic as opposed to one who winds up with severe COVID or potentially MISC,” Dr. McTigue said.

We’ve also heard from Saint Joseph Hospital regarding updates to their visitor policies that start on Monday. They’re also cutting down to one visitor for most patients and no visitors for people in the hospital with COVID.

Baptist Health told us they currently have 42 people in the hospital with COVID, nine are in the ICU and four are on ventilators.

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