Kentucky Children’s Hospital at capacity due to RSV surge

Kentucky Children’s Hospital at capacity due to RSV surge
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 4:51 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -RSV is causing hospital beds across the country to fill up. In Lexington, the Kentucky Children’s Hospital is at capacity.

Kentucky Children’s Hospital officials say they have seen a significant increase in RSV cases. Those patients are now taking up to 40% of its intensive care beds.

While RSV is a virus they see every respiratory season, Kentucky Children’s Hospital doctors say it’s spreading earlier and faster than usual.

“Our respiratory season for infants is usually from November to March, the winter months,” respiratory care manager, Tim Roark said. “But it had started much sooner and is a pretty heavy load right now.”

Kentucky Children’s Hospital has been pushed to capacity both by the virus and bronchiolitis, which stems from it.

Roark says they are particularly concerned for those aged two and younger because their airways are smaller to begin with. Roark also says their resources have been stretched thin and they are considering bringing in extra surge beds to handle the situation.

Chief Medical Officer Lindsay Ragsdale believes that what’s setting this year apart from others, is the return to normal, post-pandemic.

“We really try to get back to our prior normal social interactions, which is really important for kids, as part of their social structure,” Dr. Ragsdale said. “But germs carry on our hands and kids, that’s how they explore their world, by touching and that’s just where germs are spread.”

Dr. Ragsdale says their hospital is also seeing a rise in flu cases. So, they’re asking parents to take a couple of simple steps during these winter months to keep all of these illnesses from spreading.

“Making sure we all are washing our hands since that’s how germs are spread,” Dr. Ragsdale said. “If your child is sick, keep them home from school or activities.”

Their resources have been stretched thin and Dr. Ragsdale says they are considering bringing in extra surge beds to handle the situation. So, they also ask those who come to the hospital to be patient as they wait to be cared for.

Because of the uptick in flu cases, Dr. Ragsdale also encourages people to get their flu shots as soon as possible.

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