‘Catastrophic situation’: ICU doctors in Germany alarmed over RSV cases amid paediatric bed shortage

Intensive care unit doctors in Germany said on Thursday that because of the rising cases of respiratory infections among infants, there is a massive strain on the hospital pediatric units across the nation. 

As per the intensive care association DIVI, the hospitals in the country are facing a “catastrophic situation” because of the surge in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases, along with a shortage of nurses. 

RSV is a common and contagious virus which causes infections of the respiratory tract. Medical experts have said that RSV is a negative-sense and single-stranded RNA virus. This virus infects nearly all babies and toddlers by age two, and some get seriously ill. 

As reported by The Association Press, experts have said that because of the relaxation in the coronavirus pandemic restrictions, RSV is currently affecting a larger number of babies and children. 

The reports also mentioned that doctors are even making really tough and harsh decisions of selecting children as per their conditions to assign to limited intensive care beds. 

There have been some cases where kids with RSV or maybe some other serious conditions are getting transferred to hospitals elsewhere in Germany with spare capacity. 

Citing a recent survey, the intensive care association also noted that there are fewer than 100 free pediatric beds nationwide and that the situation could worsen. 

Sebastian Brenner, head of the pediatric intensive care unit at University Hospital Dresden, told German news channel n-tv: “If the forecasts are right, then things will get significantly more acute in the coming days and week. We see this in France, for example, and in Switzerland. If that happens, then there will be bottlenecks when it comes to treatment.” 

As quoted by the AP report, Dr Michael Sasse, head of pediatric intensive care at Hannover’s MHH University Hospital, said: “The situation is so precarious that we genuinely have to say children are dying because we can’t treat them anymore.” 

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