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Pediatric surgeries may be postponed amid surge in patients at children's ICU: Shared Health

HSC Children's Hospital
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A surge in patient numbers at the HSC Children’s pediatric ICU may cause some surgical postponements, according to Shared Health.

In a statement, the healthcare organization said there were 17 patients in the pediatric ICU (PICU) on Thursday morning. The normal baseline capacity is nine patients.

Shared Health said that a number of the PICU patients have “medically complex” cases, which are further complicated by respiratory illness. The organization added that the number of pediatric patients coming to the emergency department with flu-like symptoms has increased over the past two weeks from 22 patients on March 18 to 47 patients on March 29.

“A mix of respiratory illnesses are currently circulating in the community,” the statement said.

“These viruses often have a more profound effect on the health of young children, who are frequently more vulnerable to serious illness.”

Amid the increase in patients in the PICU, 10 staff are being temporarily reassigned, including some from the pediatric surgery and recovery units. All life-threatening surgeries will move ahead as scheduled, but the staffing changes may result in the postponement of some non-urgent procedures. Those affected will be contacted.

Shared Health reminds parents there are a number of things they can do to protect their child’s health, including ensuring they don’t interact with people experiencing cold-like symptoms.

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