Inside an Ontario hospital bracing for a surge in adult patients — while overflowing with sick kids – CBC

Clinicians expect at least 20 per cent increase in adult admissions compared to typical flu season

Dec 09, 2022

Lying with a stuffed monkey in his hospital bed, with oxygen tubes attached to his tiny nose, four-year-old Wolfgang lets out a few scratchy chest coughs.

On this afternoon in early December, the little boy with big eyes and tousled brown hair is one of the youngest patients at Markham Stouffville Hospital, north of Toronto. He was admitted a couple of days earlier to the facility’s over-capacity pediatric unit for pneumonia — his third bout since starting kindergarten in September.

As a child with severe asthma, Wolfgang — who usually goes by “Wolfy” — is particularly vulnerable during this “brutal” viral season, says his mother, Mary Doering.

“It’s hard to see your little guy struggle,” she says.

This fall, the explosive return of respiratory viruses started putting immense pressure on a health-care system that’s long been under strain — a quiet crisis, playing out behind closed doors.

Read more:

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More