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Dignity Health Memorial Hospital sees increase in child patients as holiday approaches

Dignity Health Memorial Hospital, Bakersfield (FILE)
Posted at 12:06 PM, Nov 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-23 15:06:52-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Dignity Health Memorial Hospital has seen what it calls a "dramatic increase" in the number of child patients needing high-level medical care this month. In a statement released on Wednesday, November 23rd, the hospital claimed that it has seen more than 150 children per day in the hospital's Robert A. Grimm Emergency Pavilion for Children's Services.

According to the hospital, the children admitted were suffering from illnesses such as Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus, influenza, and COVID-19, among other respiratory illnesses.

“RSV is a very common virus that usually leads to mild cold-like symptoms, with most people recovering at home in a week or two, but can be more serious in infants and young children who might need treatment in the hospital,” said Dr. Les Burson, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Dignity Health Memorial Hospital. “With COVID-19 still looming and flu season underway, it can be challenging to tell viruses apart. As with any other virus, understanding how to protect yourself and your loved ones can go a long way.”

Dr. Burson also warned that breathing issues in children are cause for concern and should be treated immediately. Other symptoms parents should keep an eye on for children include blue or blue-tinted skin, high fever, and shortness of breath.

Burson added that the best defenses against respiratory illness are washing hands, avoiding crowds, getting the flu and COVID-19 vaccines, and wearing a mask.