At the pediatric hospital of Toulouse, a majority of respiratory diseases (nearly half of the patients suffer from bronchiolitis, asthma, pneumopathy or severe laryngitis) generate intensive activity in the various departments. Resuscitation (about ten cases of bronchiolitis for a capacity of 22 beds) and pediatric emergencies (about 250 visits daily) are the most impacted despite the epidemiological plan put in place this summer. This anticipation (opening of 36 additional beds and recruitment of additional staff) makes it possible “not to be completely saturated” according to Isabelle Claudet, head of the children’s department. Until now, these little absent reinforcements allow the maintenance of all the beds of the hospital.
The peak of the epidemic is expected
With a lag of two to three weeks between the northern half and the southern half of the country, the epidemiological situation should reach its peak in the days to come. “We are currently experiencing what other regions experienced a fortnight ago. We were in the upward phase until the last week, we hope to start reaching the peak by the end of the week,” explains Isabelle Claudet. Between 50 and 60 cases of bronchiolitis are currently hospitalized in the pediatric establishment, including about twenty daily. The peak of this epidemic will then be able to know the maximum capacities and maintain a certain stability in the number of cases to be managed. This period of variable duration will also herald the start of an epidemic decline.
Crowded emergency departments
Victim of too many crowds, the emergency services of Toulouse are refused certain consultations or impose a waiting time of several hours sometimes. “When you stay 8 hours waiting for a simple consultation, you are more likely to contaminate yourself than to find any benefit” underlines the head of pediatric emergencies. The degree of priority is then assessed during the admission of each child. “There are 60 to 70% of these consultations that can be carried out in town during the week” regrets Isabelle Claudet. On weekends, at night or if no appointment with a pediatrician or general practitioner is available, it is then recommended to call the SAMU to decide whether or not to take him to the emergency room.