LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Normal pediatric care has been disrupted with no immediate solution available as children with respiratory illnesses continue to flood hospitals, according to the Nevada Hospital Association (NHA).
“Pediatric conditions at Nevada hospitals are unstable, or ‘red’ as pediatric intensive care units, neonatal intensive care units (primarily in the north), and pediatric ward beds are over capacity throughout Nevada, NHA said in its weekly report released today.
The state has seen a big increase in flu cases across all ages over the past week — 141 patients this week compared to 40 last week.
The “red” designation indicates that normal service levels are disrupted, NHA said. “Nevada is not unique in this situation, making patient transfers to neighboring states difficult, as no beds at those hospitals are open,” the report said.
RSV cases along with flu and COVID-19 have overloaded hospitals.
“Nevada can expect pediatric overcrowding to remain an issue throughout the respiratory virus season,” NHA said.
NHA is requesting authorization from Gov. Steve Sisolak to expand pediatric services by allowing hospitals to exceed licensed capacity in all neonatal and pediatric units, and to waive licensing requirements for nurses and respiratory care personnel so that hospitals can safely staff the expanded areas.
“Staffing has been increased to a crisis level as pediatric‐trained nurses are difficult to hire, and the demand is rising. Some pediatric nurses are reportedly leaving their current positions to take lucrative traveling nurse positions,” NHA reports. “The anticipated respiratory therapy and pediatric nurse overtime may increase burnout among these critical employees in the coming months.