“It will be the worst winter for 20 years”: the pediatric emergencies of the Toulouse University Hospital already saturated
Through Quentin Marais
In pediatric emergencies at Toulouse University Hospital, the atmosphere is already wintry. Bronchiolitis, gastroenteritis and other viral pathologies stormed the Toulouse area, “eight weeks earlier than usual”, deplores Isabelle Claudet, at the head of the service.
“We’re saturated, it’s overflowing”
Autumn has been here for a month. However, the situation in pediatric emergencies is rather reminiscent of much cooler months. “We are in an epidemic of bronchiolitis, of gastroenteritis and of winter viral pathology, as in eastern France. “
“It’s not unique to us, it has already started on another part of the country for 15 days »pursuit Isabelle Claudet. Who delivers figures to testify to this dynamic.
On one between 200 and 240 passages per day, and it has been increasing continuously for four weeks. Obviously, sur is saturated. It’s overflowing. It’s complicated because it happens eight weeks ahead of schedule, from our winter epidemic plans where we schedule additional beds.
The head of the Children division concedes: “it is an unprecedented epidemic situation at the start, worrying in its volume and that’s a lot of infants, in 65% of admissions, therefore children under two … “
“It’s a reflection of the fact that these children haven’t been sick for 2 years. The barrier measures have worked well, justifies Isabelle Claudet. But things rose, and the children have never been in contact with viruses with they should have to be ”.
“It will be the worst winter for 20 years”
For several weeks, the Toulouse University Hospital has been dealing with bronchiolitis … but not only. “The 35% more activity is also related to other respiratory pathologies: asthma, the laryngitis, the tracheitis, the gastroenteritis, foot-hand-mouth syndrome … “
This winter is the worst we have ever had in 20 years. As much, in 2020, on had had the calmest for 20 years. There, it will be the worst. It is the same observation that we all make, with my colleagues. We are worried about this volume overrun, this influx of children …
The head of pediatric emergencies wants to send a message. “People who come to see us because their child has only had a fever for an hour must resolve to say to themselves that, maybe, it can wait until tomorrow … ”
People complain about the wait they have, but they are also our own clutter. The child has been coughing for an hour, they bring him to us … Is that reasonable? No. That people are worried, I can understand that, it is legitimate. From there, to coming to the hospital … We’re not going to be able to manage all of this.
Workforce and white plan
The difficulties are many, varied, and also affect a “liberal medicine which is struggling to follow at the moment, because they are not numerous enough” regrets Isabelle Claudet. ” It is a balance which is negative.”
” There are more retirements among pediatricians and general practitioners than trained people arriving ”she continues. “No longer the pearly strike of SOS Médecin …”
In my department, I only have a graduated back-up procedure, but at some point you cannot rely on the internal resources of the hospital. These are people who are already on duty, who have on-call duty in their specialty… Up to a point, we know how to do it, but afterwards, we won’t be able to do it with our own resources.
Activation of the white plan?
Can this chain of obstacles lead to the rapid activation of the white plan? “For the moment, it is not envisaged, answers Isabelle Claudet. Everything must be saturated. There, it is not on the agenda. “
And the head of pediatric emergencies concluded: “but that does not mean that we will not open it if necessary … These are things that discuss and decide with our management ”.
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