Hospitals across the United States are experiencing a surge in respiratory viruses in infants, children, and adults, most of which is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). We are also seeing an increase in influenza and COVID-19. Most children’s hospitals are running over capacity due to the rapid spread of RSV.
according to report, As of Nov. 7, 76% of U.S. pediatric hospital beds were occupied, and as more children are hospitalized, the number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds for the sickest children is It’s over capacity.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), RSV is a seasonal virus that infects almost all children by the age of two. Most cases of RSV cause mild cold-like symptoms, but can also cause serious illnesses such as bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lungs) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs). CDC annually RSV 58,000-80,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized and 100-300 die.
Infants are particularly susceptible to RSV infection. Respiratory viruses cause the body to produce excess mucus and can block small airways in babies who need help breathing. Children under the age of 2 with heart disease (present at birth), immunocompromised children, and children with neuromuscular disorders are at greatest risk.
The season has also seen an increase in RSV cases among the elderly. As reported by CNN Health, 6 in 100,000 senior citizen Hospitalized with RSV. Her RSV infection in the elderly is also dangerous and can cause problems similar to those seen in infants.
of CDC It is estimated that between 60,000 and 120,000 elderly people are hospitalized with RSV in the United States each year, of whom 6,000 to 10,000 die from the infection. Adults over the age of 65 are most at risk of severe infections, as are older people with chronic heart or lung disease and those with weakened immune systems.of report They also noted that the rate of respiratory syncytial virus infection in the elderly, while lower than in children, is still unusually high.
Hospitals across the country are flooded with respiratory infections. Many have reached capacity due to pediatric RSV, but flu and his COVID-19 cases are also starting to rise. Many hospitals were at capacity and had to install overflow tents to meet patient demand.
California Secretary of Health and Human Services Mark Gary announced that the state is addressing three issues. threat: RSV, Influenza, COVID-19.He said positive test rates for RSV rivals had peaked from other years, with 33% of children testing positive in the state in early November. first announced by death of children under 5 years of age infected with influenza and respiratory syncytial virus.
A similar situation is unfolding in Michigan. His 6-year-old boy in the Detroit area, according to ABC News reports died After developing complications from RSV. There have been many warnings by experts about the upcoming surge of RSV, influenza and COVID-19, but nothing has been done to prepare.
Children’s Hospital in Colorado unprecedented A surge in RSV cases. Fewer than five beds are available statewide for children requiring intensive care. At Children’s Hospital Colorado, tents were set up outside to care for less critically ill children when the emergency department was overcrowded.
In San Diego County, California, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, UCSD Health’s Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla, and Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa have begun using Overflow. tent Out of ED [emergency department] A building to handle an influx of respiratory cases.
Similar situations are unfolding across the country, including on the East Coast. In Pennsylvania, Dr. Raymond Pitetti, director of the emergency department at his UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, announced: Social media what it set tent There are 8-10 beds outside the ED to treat children who come to the emergency room with respiratory symptoms.
Nurse Reed, a West Coast nurse who works in the ED, World Socialist website That things have gotten worse in the last few months and in the last few years since COVID. “I’m worried going into this winter because of the increased respiratory syncytial virus, flu, colds, and COVID,” she said. On several occasions, we received more patients than we did.
“I still work bedside in a small ER [emergency room] It has much better support and culture than our previous hospital, but we considered leaving due to the increased risk of pathogen transmission and the potential for a higher nurse-to-patient ratio.”
Julia, Ohio, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, told WSWS: Things are getting grim, especially with her RSV influx. New nurses and veterans are burning out at an alarming rate. The whole system is on the verge of collapse. “
“I need help,” she said. “The level 1 trauma center has 110 beds. Boarding is at crisis level and there is no prospect of relief. No, procrastinating patients is not an option for us, we are drowning every day.
“Our director was one of us at one point. She is really trying to fight for us. Offer double incentives Nurses no longer pick up even with incentives [shifts]We are a closed unit. Very rarely there are floating nurses, and they refuse to come back.
Julia explained how the staffing shortage is affecting all departments of the hospital. “Preventing this crisis is a complex task. We are understaffed in all departments. there is no EVS [environmental services] Implodes and the room doesn’t get clean for hours. They built a new hospital…reduced the number of beds. Pretty, but nowhere near the capacity we want. “
Hospitals throughout the South are also flooded with respiratory patients. A public school in Marshall County, Alabama, has been forced to move to distance learning as flu infections among staff and students increase.and Twitter postschool officials said they were unable to operate due to staffing shortages and would move to distance learning from November 7-10 to allow time to mitigate the spread of the influenza virus.
Nurses have also posted on social media about their desperate working conditions. You explain that you are an inpatient. She said, “I work in the adult intensive care unit (ICU) (we are also full), and due to the state of the PICU, I have been notified that we will begin accepting PICU patients.
“In addition to this, I received an email with one slideshow showing how to care for a pediatric ICU patient, and instructed me to ‘Two RNs review the medication.No PALS on my shift today [Pediatric Advanced Life Support] Certified or working ped. Her ICU nurse who volunteered to take care of her two children with us today is a fresh graduate. They like children so they took them. how is this acceptable? Millions of times… Healthcare is doomed. ”
Overlapping surges of multiple viruses circulating in the population could have been prevented. There have been many warnings from experts about the upcoming surge in RSV, influenza, and COVID-19, but nothing has been done to prepare.
The unfolding catastrophe is the result of the “forever COVID” policy currently pursued by the Biden administration and all state governments, which have systematically dismantled all science-based COVID prevention measures over the past year. I was. Unlike 2020 and 2021, nearly all school districts, workplaces and public facilities have dropped mandatory mask-wearing requirements and followed the government’s “take it off” policy.
All public health measures during the pandemic have been subordinated to the interests of corporate interests, resulting in the needless loss of millions of lives. The current emergency medical care and hospital overcrowding, with respiratory viruses surging, is a direct result of these criminal policies. It stands as an indictment of the capitalist system and its brutal treatment of the working class and the youngest and most vulnerable members of society.