Pediatric Surge Crisis Response
Last updated Nov. 22, 2022.
A national shortage of pediatric beds as the result of a 19% decline in pediatric inpatient units over 10 years — coupled with a surge in pediatric cases due respiratory illnesses — has led to an unprecedented capacity crisis in pediatric care nationwide. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as of early November, more than three-quarters of the country’s pediatric inpatient beds were occupied. (And this number is likely an underestimate.)
General resources (for all settings)
Compiled by the Pediatric Pandemic Network, the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Innovation and Improvement Center, Gulf 7-Pediatric Disaster Network, Region V for Kids, and the Western Regional Alliance for Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Pediatric Surge Resources and Recommendations includes:
- surge response recommendations
- resources for right now (e.g. clinical guidance on respiratory illnesses in children)
- resources for pediatric preparedness (e.g. preparing for future crises and everyday emergencies)
The Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) now provides a website to respond to the pediatric surge in viral respiratory illnesses impacting hospital capacity. The website includes a link to the above resources.
Some key media coverage about the crisis.
- As Hospitals Close Children’s Units, Where Does That Leave Lachlan? - New York Times, Oct. 11 (features the EMSC-driven concept of pediatric readiness and grantee Kate Remick, MD, FACEP)
- What’s behind an increase in closures of pediatric units - PBS NewsHour, Oct. 15 (highlights 2018 pediatric readiness paper)
- We May Have Only a Few Months to Prevent the Next Pandemic - New York Times, Oct. 24
- Is the US facing a potential 'tripledemic' of flu, RSV and COVID-19? - ABC News, Oct. 26
- The Worst Pediatric-Care Crisis in Decades - The Atlantic, Oct. 31
- Pediatric ER doctor gives glimpse into front lines of RSV surge: ‘No space anywhere’ - TODAY, Nov. 8
- A cold virus is creating crises for pediatric hospitals, by Erin Paquette, MD, JD, MBe, The Hill, Oct. 28
- Opinion: It’s not just RSV that’s filling pediatric hospital beds, by Moira Szilagyi, MD, PhD, FAAP, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, CNN, Nov. 3
- Respiratory infection surge sounds a wake-up call for pediatric emergency care, by Marc Auerbach, MD, MSci, an EMSC Program grantee, STAT News, Nov. 3
- I've Never Seen Anything Like This' in the Pediatric ED, by Sage Myers, MD, MSCE, an EMSC Program grantee - Med Page Today, Nov. 10