Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Children crowd Winnipeg emergency rooms - severe respiratory ailments - 12/02/09 10:50am

Eight children in Winnipeg are currently on ventilators for severe respiratory ailments as the number of kids admitted into emergency rooms climbs.

According to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, the number of children at ERs in the city has increased by 60 to 70 admissions over the typical amount for this time of year.

More than half of those being admitted have respiratory symptoms but WRHA spokeswoman Heidi Graham stressed those cases are not all related to the H1N1 influenza A virus that causes swine flu.

In fact, just two of the eight children on the ventilators are being tested for the virus, Graham said.

Still, the crowded ERs have led to a shortage of bed spaces. To ease that burden, the WRHA is giving seniors who are in hospital a priority status for any beds that become available in nursing homes.

They will be placed into those beds first over patients waiting at home for the same beds, said Graham.

"If they can stay in the community with those supports a little longer, admitting someone from a hospital frees up that hospital bed so that we can move someone from the ER more quickly into a hospital bed and ease the demands on the ER department," she said.

It's not unusual for the WRHA to take that step during outbreaks of seasonal influenza, Graham said, adding that a similar measure was implemented during the first wave of H1N1 infection in the spring.
Vaccination clinics reopen Thursday

Meanwhile, the WRHA's 12 H1N1 vaccination clinics are slated to reopen on Thursday for people who fall into any of the high-risk categories:

* Children between the ages of six months and five years.
* People of aboriginal background.
* Disadvantaged people, such as the homeless.
* People from remote or isolated areas.
* People under 65 with a chronic medical condition or other risk factor.
* Anyone with a weakened immune system, and their caregiver.
* Anyone who cares for an infant under six months.
* Single parents or anyone solely responsible for a dependent.
* Health-care workers and first-responders.
* Pregnant women.

The WRHA said late Friday that it has run out of the vaccine and had to cancel the clinic originally scheduled for the start of this week.

So far, more than 101,281 people have been vaccinated at Winnipeg's clinics, Graham said.

So, if only 2 are from the H1N1 - What is Causing the Other? This article was from the 10th of Nov.

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