Children’s hospitals ‘gravely worried’ about upcoming flu season amid ER crisis – GLOBAL

October 18, 2022

As flu season approaches in Canada, officials at children’s hospitals across the country say they are “gravely worried” about how an influx of children with influenza, COVID-19 or other viruses could exacerbate challenges within an already overburdened health system.

Over the last several months, children’s hospitals in many major centres across Canada have been under considerable strain, with higher volumes of young patients pouring into pediatric hospitals that are dealing also with acute staffing and bed shortages.

At CHEO in Ottawa, the intensive care unit has been significantly busy for much of the last two weeks and medical in-patient units are currently at 124 per cent capacity, according to a hospital statement.

The emergency department is also facing significant strain. The last six months have been the busiest period ever for the emergency department, the hospital says, and on Monday, the ER saw 61 more patients than it was built to accommodate, forcing sick children to wait for many hours for care.

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