DIVI, the intensive care association, said that the seasonal increase in respiratory syncytial viral cases and the shortage of nurses is causing a “catastrophic condition” in hospitals.
RSV, a contagious and common virus, infects almost all children under 2 years old. Some can become very ill. Experts claim that RSV is currently being affected by a greater number of children and babies, who aren’t equipped to fight it off.
Hospital doctors must make difficult decisions regarding which children should be assigned to the limited number of intensive care beds. Some children with RSV, or other severe conditions, are being transferred to hospitals with more capacity in Germany. DIVI reported that DIVI recently surveyed the country and found less than 100 pediatric beds in need. This situation could only get worse.
Sebastian Brenner from University Hospital Dresden told German news channel ntv that “if the forecasts hold, then things are going to get significantly more severe in coming days and weeks.”
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“We have seen this in France, Switzerland and elsewhere. It will cause bottlenecks in the delivery of treatment.
“The situation is so perilous that we genuinely must say children are dying, because we can no longer treat them,” Dr. Michael Sasse of Hannover’s MHH University Hospital stated.
Karl Lauterbach, German Health Minister, announced Thursday the relaxation of regulations that would make it easier to transfer pediatric nurses to units. He also stated that 600 million euros ($630million) will be given to pediatric hospitals over two years.
The European Union’s executive panel approved last month the first-ever one-dose drug to combat RSV.