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Children’s of Alabama say some patients with COVID-19 are struggling to breathe

SC hospital’s pediatric ICU ‘beyond capacity’ with COVID and ‘winter viruses’
SC hospital’s pediatric ICU ‘beyond capacity’ with COVID and ‘winter viruses’(Adam Mintzer)
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 10:49 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Children’s of Alabama is reporting an increase in COVID related hospitalizations. As of August 26th, 15 children were hospitalized. That is up from 13 children the day before. Six of those kids are on ventilators and doctors with the hospital believe the Delta variant is impacting children more severely.

“They tend to be sicker,” Children’s of Alabama Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow Dr. Alicia Webb said. “It seems this Delta Variant is a lot more infectious, a lot more contagious, and is hitting kids a lot harder. We see more and more who are getting sicker and actually needing that emergency care.”

Webb said with the Delta Variant, some hospitalized kids are struggling to breathe.

“They are breathing very very fast and very hard,” Webb said. “Needing oxygen and needing support for their breathing or are so extremely dehydrated that they are needing IV fluids.”

Webb said COVID-19 can cause pneumonia and they are starting to see double infection in more children.

“It’s still that COVID-19 virus infecting their lungs,” Webb said. “It’s just that you can see it on X-ray and they need oxygen. It is something that affects the lungs enough where kids are breathing harder and kids are short of breath.”

For kids with minor symptoms, the virus can impact them for about ten days, but Webb said kids with more severe symptoms are in the hospital for much longer.

“Our kids who are having trouble breathing, our kids who are having Covid pneumonia, or who are needing oxygen can stay for a lot longer.”

Webb said overall, most COVID positive children will recover, but with the Delta Variant, it is not always a guarantee.

Dr. Webb said since the Delta Variant is so much more infectious and impacting kids more severely, she encourages all children to wear a mask in public and get vaccinated if they are old enough.

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