Friday 6 December 2019

Children's surgeries cancelled due to surge in virus


(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Many planned surgeries for children on waiting lists are being curtailed in the three children's hospitals over the coming weeks due to a surge in young patients with respiratory illness.

It contributed to 22 youngsters having to wait on a trolley for a bed yesterday morning.

The high rate of respiratory illness patients has forced the postponement of many planned surgeries for children.

Over the weekend, the hospitals treated a high number of children with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

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RSV is a very common virus and almost all children are infected with it by the time they are two years old.

In older children and adults, RSV may cause a cough or cold but in younger children it can cause bronchiolitis.

Children's Health Ireland (CHI), covering the three children's hospitals, said yesterday: "This morning there were 22 patients waiting for admission to an inpatient bed in the three children's emergency departments which compared to 11 for the same period last week.

"Any long waiting time for children is regrettable.

"This increase in numbers is in part a result of higher rates of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) which causes infections of the lungs and respiratory tract, flu and norovirus (known as the winter vomiting bug), all of which circulate at this time of the year," it said.

A spokeswoman said: "Our advice for any parent/guardian whose child or infant who gets flu-like symptoms is they should stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and use over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol to ease flu symptoms."

She said that in order to cope with the increase in patients at emergency departments, the hospitals "are restricting all elective and routine inpatient procedures in the coming weeks".

Irish Independent

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