ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Parents of patients and staff at the Golisano Children’s Hospital are breathing easier knowing that capacity dropped back below 100% Monday. RSV is the driving factor behind the surge.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) typically hits its peak infecting children during the Fall and Winter but this year, kids are coming back out into public unmasked and not socially distant for the first time since 2020.
As of Monday afternoon, Golisano Children’s Hospital’s capacity dropped from 112% to the 90% range of beds filled with patients.
Despite the inflated number of patients, staff are adjusting as quickly as they can.
“We have the ability to partner up rooms. So, we can actually put a couple of beds in a room,” Pediatrician in Chief, Dr. Patrick Brophy said. “We do have some observation capability within the children’s hospital, and we also have operative areas that can be converted into patient rooms if need be.”
Since the beginning of the month, Golisano has reported 77 patients infected with RSV which can lead to children having bronchitis or pneumonia.
As the school year inches closer, doctors advise parents to make sure their kids step up doing hygiene practices and not forget mask-wearing.
“We believe social distancing and mask-wearing and good hand hygiene were things that actually reduced the incidents of RSV,” Dr. Brophy said. “What we can do in the community is wash our hands and wear your mask if you’re required to.”
This surge in RSV cases to those infected with the delta variant heightens the complexity of the UR Healthcare system. The more beds filled up with COVID-19 patients in any facility, the less space and staff in Golisano to expand if they overflow again.
“That space is not necessarily there right now,” Golisano Pediatrician Dr. Elizabeth Murphy said. “So, if the COVID numbers continue to increase in hospitalizations in adults not just children we’re not going to be able to help out as much as we did in the past.”
According to medical staff at Golisano Children’s Hospital, a child with asthma or other respiratory conditions can be hit by RSV harder if they are caught up in this early wave of the virus.