Navigation Links
Children's hospitals not equipped to handle pandemics
Date:8/23/2011

AURORA, Colo. (Aug. 23, 2011) A new study of children's hospitals nationwide has found them underequipped to handle a major surge of patients in the event of a pandemic, and urges health care institutions and government agencies to immediately review emergency preparedness plans as flu season approaches.

"Every year we get lucky," said the study's lead author, Marion Sills, MD, MPH, and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "But it wouldn't take much of an epidemic to put us over capacity. If that happens where do the children go?"

The study, published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases journal, examined data from 34 children's hospitals as they dealt with the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, which disproportionately affected children.

Researchers found the median occupancy rate in the hospitals was 95 percent during the H1N1 pandemic but this situation did not differ from typical levels of high occupancy commonly experienced. In the 2008-09 flu season, the median occupancy was 101 percent. Fortunately, the pandemic turned out to be milder than expected. Still, the study said, it would have only taken about 0.2 admissions per 10 beds per day to reach 100 percent occupancy across all hospitals in the study.

"Models representing an outbreak of a more virulent influenza virus based on historical comparisons demonstrate that modest increases in emergency department visits or emergency department admissions rates would have resulted in substantial overcrowding among the large cohort of children's hospitals in our study," Sills wrote.

According to Sills, pandemics last for weeks or months and affect large geographical areas, often multiple nations or continents. And even if children's hospitals could handle such occupancy rates on a short-term basis, there are real questions of whether they could do so for a prolonged period.

The findings are especially significant in the context of national disaster planning related to children. The National Commission on Children and Disasters 2010 Report to the President and Congress found serious deficiencies in the state of disaster/pandemic preparedness for children and recommended the creation of a regionalized pediatric care system to help rectify these deficiencies.

"Our study shows that children's hospitals, the central component of this proposed regionalized system, routinely operate so closely to capacity that little available reserve exists for even a modest surge of inpatients," Sills said.

She noted that while it might make financial sense to keep the hospitals 95 or 100 percent full, it might not make sense from a health care quality perspective.

"H1NI was not as virulent as people had feared, but the next one might be," Sills said. "The point of this paper is that it wouldn't take a much more virulent virus to get us into serious trouble."


'/>"/>

Contact: David Kelly
david.kelly@ucdenver.edu
303-315-6374
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Childrens Hospital LA discovers growth factor essential to epicardial cell function
2. $29.4 million grant establishes CTSI at NYU in partnership with Health and Hospitals Corporation
3. Rensselaer leads effort to replace 1 of the most widely used drugs in American hospitals
4. University Hospitals Case Medical Center testing gene therapy for Alzheimers disease
5. Picis ED PulseCheck Increases Security and Privacy Protection in Nearly 150 Hospitals Through the Use of DigitalPersona Biometrics
6. Researchers find Clostridium difficile is more common than MRSA in southeast community hospitals
7. Protein handlers should be effective treatment target for cancer and Alzheimers
8. Too hot to handle: Impacts of climate change on mussels
9. Microfluidic device allows collection, analysis of hard-to-handle immune cells
10. Study shows how mosquitoes handle the heat of a hot blood meal
11. Swine flu genes dissimilar to past pandemics
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/6/2016)... N.C. , Dec. 6, 2016 Valencell ... announced today it has seen a third consecutive year ... biometric sensor technology in 2016 with a 360 percent ... last year. This increase was driven by sales of ... as robust interest in its technology for hearables for ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 1, 2016 ... type (Fingerprint, Voice), Future Technology (Iris Recognition System), ... Region - Global Forecast to 2021", published by ... 442.7 Million in 2016, and is projected to ... a CAGR of 14.06%.      (Logo: ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... CHICAGO , Nov. 30, 2016  higi ... a new partnership initiative targeting national brands, industry ... and reward their respective audiences for taking steps ... Since its inception in 2012, higi has built ... US, impacting over 38 million people who have ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... PHOENIX and SAN DIEGO ... (OTCQB:CELZ) announced the appointment of Santosh Kesari , ... Board. Dr. Kesari will leverage his experience in neurology and ... its adult stem cell for treatment of stroke. The AmnioStem ... amniotic fluid, which has previously shown therapeutic activity in ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... ... on discovery and development of precision treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced ... disease (AD) inhibited the direct neurotoxic effect of prion-like forms of Amyloid ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... DUBLIN , Dec 5, 2016 ... report "Biomarkers - Technologies, Markets and Companies" to their ... , , ... biomarkers and their discovery using various -omics technologies such as proteomics ... biomarkers and new tests are also based on biomarker. ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... SAN DIEGO , Dec. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... treatments for congestive heart failure and other chronic ... is joining the company as Chief Financial Officer ... Renova Therapeutics with 20 years of experience in ... closely held biotech and software companies. Most recently, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: