Children’s Hospital forced to divert some patients due to large amount of respiratory infection cases

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 5:14 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Children’s Hospital is inundated with patients right now and, if your child gets sick, you could find it harder to get them in for treatment.

The healthcare giant is dealing with a massive surge in respiratory infections. RSV, Influenza and even COVID-19 cases have lengthened wait times, both in the ER and ICU.

“What we have been experiencing for these last few weeks is beyond troubling,” said Dr. David Kimberlin, Pediatric Infectious Diseases chair. “Various parts of the hospital have had to go on diversion. I have been here for thirty years and I don’t ever remember that happening before.”

The patients coming in not only need hospitalization, but often times they need intensive care and there are only so many beds available.

“In many ways this is our peak,” Kimberlin said. “Now granted it is not just COVID, it is also RSV and influenza which is why it is our peak.”

Doctors are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel, but Dr. Kimberlin says we are far from out of the woods.

“In talking with colleagues across the hospital, in the various units of the hospital, maybe things are beginning to lighten up a little bit,” he said. “It is probably not worse than it was two weeks ago, but it is hard to imagine it could be worse than it was two weeks ago.”

He is encouraging everyone to get the vaccines available for both flu and COVID-19.

At this time no vaccine exists for RSV.

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