Rochester children’s hospital over capacity as respiratory illnesses spike

COVID-19

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Golisano Children’s Hospital has been exceeding full capacity for about a week. As of Sunday, it was around 112% capacity, according to Dr. Patrick Brophy, the hospital’s pediatric chair.

On Sunday morning, Dr. Brophy tweeted:

Dr. Brophy opened up to NEWS10’s sister station in Rochester about how the current situation has been a major challenge for him and other staff. “You have to decide some point in time when sources stretch thin, who gets care,” he said. “I certainly don’t want to be in that position.”

Brophy says that all across the country, Hospitals are seeing rising cases of influenzas and respiratory viruses they normally would see in the fall. He says this is nothing like when COVID first hit, and the hospital was actually not too busy. Because of masking measures and social distancing, there weren’t as many seasonal viruses.

Now, illnesses like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are spiking. “For many adults, it’s like a really bad cold. But in kids—small ones, like the neonatal population—it can be life-threatening,” Brophy said.

Brophy says they’ve been able to flex with the space they’re working with, sometimes pairing up patients in rooms. He says they would never refuse care to anybody, and that they always find a way to help.

On top of it, the delta variant is highly contagious, spreading quickly among children. “Kids don’t get admitted to the hospital unless they’re really symptomatic, Brophy said. “Kids are getting sick from this.”

He believes there is still more data to see the full effect of this variant, but it is affecting children. There are currently two children in the ICU with COVID, and Brophy says that number varies day-to-day. His message for the community is to get vaccinated ahead of the new school year, especially because younger children are unable to receive it.

“The community responsibility is: get the vaccine,” he said. “It’s safe. It’s effective.”

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