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Monday, July 4, 2022

As pediatric respiratory illnesses rise, hospitals stretched thin

Pediatric hospitals in Ohio do not like what they are seeing right now.They told media at a statewide briefing by the Ohio Department of Health Monday about respiratory viruses that normally don’t surface until the winter season. They warned the trend is very troubling.We are told the resources at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center were stretched so thin, they could not afford to lose even one more nurse.We watched the Raterman boys — Lincoln, Archer and Max — romp through the spray area at Washington Park Monday afternoon.They have not been sick at all this summer, according to their mother.But their family was aware of the unexpected respiratory viruses that Children’s was trying to manage along with a surge of COVID-19 cases.”We’ve been following the news and it does make you worry,” said their mom, Kate Raterman of Western Hills.”That’s exactly why we’re going to make ’em wear masks in school,” she said, even though it is not a requirement in their district.She said they would also be vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible.Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Chief Medical Officer for the Ohio Department of Health, believes that could be soon.”It will likely begin with emergency use authorization and have that followed after a period of time with the process that results in full approval,” Vanderhoff said.It can’t come fast enough for those driving the vaccination train.They spoke of packed emergency waiting rooms at Children’s and are treating respiratory viruses they normally don’t encounter until the dead of winter. “My whole family got it,” said Taylor Wood of Elmwood Place. “So, my kids were sick, coughing, sinusy.”She said, her 4-year-old, Emir, was cooling off with his buddy, 8-year-old Keegan.Wood, brought them to Washington Park from Elmwood Place because Emir was feeling better, even though she was still scratchy and congested from what she usually associates with December or January. “Not in August,” she said. “And so, we were panicking. We thought it was COVID.”They tested negative last Friday.Doctors are pleading for the unvaccinated to do what Emir’s mom has yet to do.”I’m scared,” she said.She felt the vaccine was developed too quickly. But she said she would probably get the shot now because “I don’t want to get COVID again.”She said it was not fun.Most beds at Children’s are non-COVID, but the variant number is steeply on the rise.Per Dr. Patricia Manning-Courtney in an email Monday afternoon, “We’ve gone from low single-digits to double-digit inpatients in the past few weeks. Overall, numbers are still low, but they have been steadily climbing. On the outpatient side, we got as low as in the 30s for positive outpatients per week in early to mid-summer, but have jumped back into triple digits for the past several weeks.”The rate for teenagers is roughly 30% and as kids return to school, mental health admissions go up in the fall along with respiratory illnesses.”We are sounding the alarm a little bit in advance of that time period because if we follow the trajectory of some of our southern neighbors, we could be in a very dangerous position with regards to caring for the children of Ohio,” Manning-Courtney said.They want masks on faces and vaccines in arms.”We don’t need pizza or dinners. Or to be called heroes. And we certainly don’t need to be called zeroes. We need you to help us by getting vaccinated,” Manning-Courtney said.

Pediatric hospitals in Ohio do not like what they are seeing right now.

They told media at a statewide briefing by the Ohio Department of Health Monday about respiratory viruses that normally don’t surface until the winter season. They warned the trend is very troubling.

We are told the resources at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center were stretched so thin, they could not afford to lose even one more nurse.

We watched the Raterman boys — Lincoln, Archer and Max — romp through the spray area at Washington Park Monday afternoon.

They have not been sick at all this summer, according to their mother.

But their family was aware of the unexpected respiratory viruses that Children’s was trying to manage along with a surge of COVID-19 cases.

“We’ve been following the news and it does make you worry,” said their mom, Kate Raterman of Western Hills.

“That’s exactly why we’re going to make ’em wear masks in school,” she said, even though it is not a requirement in their district.

She said they would also be vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Chief Medical Officer for the Ohio Department of Health, believes that could be soon.

“It will likely begin with emergency use authorization and have that followed after a period of time with the process that results in full approval,” Vanderhoff said.

It can’t come fast enough for those driving the vaccination train.

They spoke of packed emergency waiting rooms at Children’s and are treating respiratory viruses they normally don’t encounter until the dead of winter.

“My whole family got it,” said Taylor Wood of Elmwood Place. “So, my kids were sick, coughing, sinusy.”

She said, her 4-year-old, Emir, was cooling off with his buddy, 8-year-old Keegan.

Wood, brought them to Washington Park from Elmwood Place because Emir was feeling better, even though she was still scratchy and congested from what she usually associates with December or January.

“Not in August,” she said. “And so, we were panicking. We thought it was COVID.”

They tested negative last Friday.

Doctors are pleading for the unvaccinated to do what Emir’s mom has yet to do.

“I’m scared,” she said.

She felt the vaccine was developed too quickly.

But she said she would probably get the shot now because “I don’t want to get COVID again.”

She said it was not fun.

Most beds at Children’s are non-COVID, but the variant number is steeply on the rise.

Per Dr. Patricia Manning-Courtney in an email Monday afternoon, “We’ve gone from low single-digits to double-digit inpatients in the past few weeks. Overall, numbers are still low, but they have been steadily climbing. On the outpatient side, we got as low as in the 30s for positive outpatients per week in early to mid-summer, but have jumped back into triple digits for the past several weeks.”

The rate for teenagers is roughly 30% and as kids return to school, mental health admissions go up in the fall along with respiratory illnesses.

“We are sounding the alarm a little bit in advance of that time period because if we follow the trajectory of some of our southern neighbors, we could be in a very dangerous position with regards to caring for the children of Ohio,” Manning-Courtney said.

They want masks on faces and vaccines in arms.

“We don’t need pizza or dinners. Or to be called heroes. And we certainly don’t need to be called zeroes. We need you to help us by getting vaccinated,” Manning-Courtney said.

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