Stressed ERs get even more crowded as flu and RSV hit hospitals

Stressed ERs get even more crowded as flu and RSV hit hospitals

In one case last month in Washington state, a nurse in an emergency department was forced to call 911 due to a lack of staff available to help. Unusually quick starts to the flu and RSV seasons have complicated things for many hospitals.

In related news —

Becker Hospital Review: Hospital-Wide Patients More Likely to Die When ED Is Overcrowded: Study

Overcrowding in the emergency department affects death rates across the hospital, according to a recent study from Penn State-based University Park, Pennsylvania, and the University of California, San Francisco. Researchers examined more than 5 million discharge records from California hospitals between October 2015 and December 2017, according to a Nov. 4 article on the Penn State website. They compared them to the number of people in hospital emergency departments to complete their analysis, which was published in the journal Health Sciences Research. (Kayser, 4/11)

Flu and RSV are wreaking havoc:

AP: Flu season in the US is off to a fast start as other viruses spread

Flu season in the US is off to an unusually fast start, adding to an autumnal mix of viruses that has been filling hospitals and doctors’ waiting rooms. Flu reports are already high in 17 states, and the hospitalization rate hasn’t been this high since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far, there have been some 730 flu deaths, including at least two children. The winter flu season typically picks up in December or January. (Stobbe and Babwin, 11/4)

CIDRAP: CDC warns of early increase in respiratory viruses

José Romero, MD, who directs the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said mitigation steps have eased after 2 years of COVID-19 impacts that limited social interactions, and many young children are now exposed to a large number of respiratory viruses for the first time. He also warned that COVID-19 has not disappeared, with the rate now leveling off after declining in recent months. (Schnirring, 4/11)

The Washington Post: As Covid, flu and RSV cases collide, CDC warms to harsh winter ahead

While new coronavirus cases have leveled off in recent weeks, federal health officials warned Friday that they face elevated levels of other viruses that are making a comeback as pre-pandemic life returns and many Americans, in children, in particular, lack immunity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a respiratory virus advisory to thousands of health care providers in an attempt to beef up testing, treatment and vaccination. (Nirappil, 4/11)

AP: Flu forces Alabama school district to go virtual for a week

An Alabama school district is switching to virtual classes [this] week due to increased flu cases among students and teachers. Marshall County school officials have suspended in-person classes and asked students to log in for remote learning Monday through Thursday. (Guntersville, 6/11)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a roundup of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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