ATLANTA – The number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is more than three times higher on Friday than it was a month ago.
In the past two days, the Georgia Coordinating Center has rated Atlanta’s pediatric emergency rooms as “crowded” multiple times.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray Children’s Healthcare asked how many children were hospitalized with COVID-19 exactly a month ago. When the children went back to school, there were 18 patients. It’s 61 now.
And in many places on Friday, Eggleston’s emergency room was listed as overcrowded on the emergency ambulance line website.
“It got to a point where we waited so long that she had to be sedated,” said mother Diana Lopez.
Her two-year-old twins have severe asthma.
But she told Gray that she had never seen anything like it when she took her daughter to the Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital with breathing problems in August.
“It took seven hours to get a room because the hospital is at full capacity. There were no rooms, ”said Lopez.
In several places on Thursday and Friday, Children’s Healthcare’s emergency rooms were listed as “crowded” and “busy” on the statewide website, which runs rescue teams.
Currently, 32 children with acute and active COVID-19 are being hospitalized. Another 29 are staying in the hospital to continue COVID-19 treatment. That is a total of 61 children who were hospitalized. Last month there had been only 18 at the time.
“I mean, when you go in there, the environment is chaotic. People are sitting in front of the waiting rooms, people are sitting in the hallways, ”said Lopez.
It’s not just COVID-19 cases that are draining hospital capacity. Cases of respiratory syncytial virus also hit hard as children go back to school.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta tells us, “We are seeing higher levels in our emergency rooms and emergency centers due to a variety of respiratory viruses such as COVID-19 and RSV. It is important to note that these diseases do not always require emergency care. “
Children’s said it will never turn a child away from its emergency room, but the wait times on its website are all two hours plus.
“She just cried loudly and there was nothing we could do. We had to wait, we had to wait to get a room, ”said Lopez.
Children said it will always treat any child who shows up in their emergency room regardless of capacity challenges.
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