NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As sickness continues spread in Tennessee, hospitals say their pediatric emergency rooms are seeing high numbers of patients for the flu and RSV.
A doctor at Cookeville Regional Medical Center said the cases are more severe and they’ve had to transfer several patients for a higher level of care.
“We’re seeing unprecedented numbers from lots of things and because of that, it puts real stress, especially if you need a higher level of care,” said Dr. Apryl Hall. “We’ve seen a lot of children who are actually a little older than normal be admitted into the hospital as well.”
Dr. Hall said the timing of the severity is unique. She said their pediatric hospitals are typically inundated with patients in the winter, not at this time of year.
“We actually started seeing cases in the summer, which is very uncommon, and so we knew that it was going to be bad,” said Dr. Hall.
She said they are prepared, however, to ensure patients receive the care they need.
“We also always know what our backup hospitals are if we aren’t able to transfer from one location to the other,” said Dr. Hall. “We also have backup plans for what we’ll do if we’re not able to transfer those patients and we need to care for them ourselves here.”
Hall said their experience has also led to the hospital adopting better policies for practices and procedures if their emergency rooms are overrun.
As the colder weather moves people indoors and the holidays approach, Dr. Hall encouraged people to get their flu vaccine, practice good hand hygiene, and stay home if sick.