Pediatric Surge Crisis Response

Child using breathing device

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.

Prehospital-specific resources (for EMS)

Compiled by the EMSC Innovation and Improvement Center, the EMSC Data Center, and the Pediatric Pandemic Network, Pediatric RSV Surge Resources For EMS/Prehospital includes clinical guideline resources, respiratory education, and more.

Media coverage

Some key media coverage about the crisis.