Bed space just one of many concerns Children's Hospital has with COVID surge

Posted at 6:06 AM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 07:06:04-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The number of area pediatric COVID hospitalizations rose again Tuesday, up to 18.

Fifteen of those hospitalizations are at Children's Hospital.

Children's Hospital says most of the fall they had 4-6 covid hospitalizations per week, 6-8 on a big week, and just 1-2 last spring.

This increase is making it very difficult to care for all the children in the area needing medical attention.

Dr. Sharon Stoolman says that morale has been low at Children's as they watch more kids fighting the virus. In many cases, these children were eligible for the vaccine but didn’t get it.

Because of the increase in hospitalizations and staff shortages they have been unable to accept as many children that need medical attention as they used to. They've been forced to send kids to other partners and colleagues in the Lincoln and Omaha area.

"It's a different reality than we had been in ever before. I mean, we've had to divert patients, but not on a daily basis, and so every day it's a discussion if we have a bed for that child,” Dr. Stoolman said. “That's scary. There are some families that are very dependent upon many specialists, and that idea is a bit frightening."

Stoolman says when it comes to COVID hospitalizations she hears many people say, ‘well are they in the hospital with covid or for covid?’

The answer is both.

"For some of our kids, the COVID is the trigger of their breakthrough seizure or their asthma exasperation, and it's not as classic as the adult COVID pneumonia but it is the complicating factor that brought them in,” Dr. Stoolman said. “Then we have the kids with acute COVID who are having respiratory distress and are in the ICU."

She says they are also seeing kids with MIS-C, Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, a very serious condition linked to COVID-19.

Dr. Stoolman says she is also very concerned about long-haul COVID in kids and how it can affect them down the road.

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