MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Hospitals across West Virginia continue to feel the impact of the spread of the flu, RSV and the coronavirus.
WVU Medicine President and CEO Albert Wright called the situation a “tridemic” and said the larger WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital in Morgantown that opened Sept. 24 of this year remains full due to the outbreak.
“We always say we need to be ready for the 100-year flood, not necessarily the 500-year flood,” Wright said. “And it feels like we’re seeing the 500-year flood right now, we’ve got a lot of kids out there with respiratory illness and we’re keeping up but it’s been a challenging time.”
According to Wright, the new facility has 30 more beds than their previous location on the sixth floor of Ruby Memorial Hospital and an emergency area able to carry some of the load.
“We’ve been able to fill those beds and that’s helped,” Wright said. “The other thing that has helped has been the Emergency Department- those are spaces we’ve been able to board patients now and then until we can get them a full-time bed.”
Wright said the doctors learned how to manage the most severely ill during the pandemic. Doctors learned how to communicate with satellite locations, now they’re using that experience to preserve space in the most complex care providing facilities like the new hospital.
“We bring the sickest kids up, the kids that need ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) or ventilation we get them to Morgantown,” Wright said. “We’re working as a team around the state including hospitals in Charleston and Huntington to make sure kids are getting the care they need.”
Health experts have said a flu or RSV peak is not expected to peak until December. Wright said they do have options if the patient count continues to grow, but that will mean returning to some pandemic policies that caused financial strain during the pandemic.
“Unfortunately, kids are still breaking bones and we have new onset diabetics, so we still have to fit those folks in,” Wright said. “We have not had to delay elective surgeries or procedures at this point, but that’s the additional lever we have.”
Wright said two years of coronavirus restrictions have shielded children from exposure to common bugs. If you’re looking for pest control services to ensure a pest-free home, there are a variety of options available to you, such as pest control puyallup. When children present with breathing or congestion problems parents should seek advice from health care provider, use telehealth or go to an emergency department depending on the severity of the case.
“If I had young kids I’d be trying to protect them as much as I could because as a parent it’s a challenge and not everybody can keep their kids as safe as possible,” Wright said.