RSV And COVID-19 Infections Flood Children's Hospitals

A spike in RSV infections during a new COVID-19 case surge is flooding area children's hospital emergency departments and ICUs.

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The situation in area children's hospitals is becoming worse as more children become diagnosed with not only COVID-19 but RSV.

The Campbell family of Paris, Texas said they waited hours at one hospital, just to turn around and leave after being unable to get to a room in the emergency department.

Dara Campbell said when her one-year-old son began suffering concerning symptoms like bluish-colored lips, she rushed him from their home in Paris to a children's hospital in Dallas but the emergency department was packed.

She said there were no rooms available.

"It was crazy. I totally wasn't expecting that," said Campbell.

"We had to go sit in the waiting room and then wait a couple of hours to get a chest x-ray and then, we still had other tests to be done so that was still going to take several hours. I just didn't want to leave him exposed in the ER waiting room, around a lot of other people," she said.

Campbell said she ended up taking her to their family doctor a few hours later, but her experience is like so many others, detailed by parents on social media.

As of August 4, the DFW Hospital Council reports 1,125 children are hospitalized and 154 children are on ventilators, but not all are dealing with COVID-19.

"Some of the kids who have RSV can be on the ventilator for as long as eight weeks," said Medical Director of Infection Control and Prevention at Cook Children's Dr. Marc Mazade.

Cook Children's reports190 RSV cases last week, while hovering around 200 a week for the past three weeks. As of August 2, 16 children were hospitalized with COVID-19.

Children's Health did not provide current RSV case numbers at the time this article was published. 17 children are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, as of August 3.

Medical City Children's said in an email, "Medical City Children’s Hospital does not publicly share pediatric case numbers. They are reported to the appropriate agencies."

"This convergence of RSV infection that is flooding our ER, flooding our hospital beds, flooding our ICU beds, while COVID-19 is surging, unnecessarily, has brought our morale down, but you know we are resilient," said Dr. Mazade.

Campbell returned to the emergency department at a different children's hospital a week later, when, at that point, her son tested positive for RSV and was treated.

"Right now, RSV is bad. Just watch your babies. Look for the symptoms," warned Campbell.

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