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Demand for hospital-grade cribs on the rise as viral illnesses continue to surge – CNN

CNN   — 

As a trio of respiratory viruses spreads across the particular country and pediatric hospitalizations remain high, some hospitals are running into a new problem: a shortage of medical-grade baby cribs.

Pediatric hospital beds have been more full than usual for months. Last month, children’s health leaders called for a formal emergency declaration from the US government to support hospitals plus communities amid an “alarming surge of pediatric respiratory system illnesses, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza, along with the continuing children’s mental health crisis. ”

Michigan’s largest health system, Corewell Health, ordered more than 50 additional cribs “to accommodate the surge in pediatric upper respiratory infections, ” Tim Essenmacher of Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital and Corewell Health East’s Melanie Fisher told CNN in an email.

Corewell Wellness Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital has brought out both specialized and non-specialized cribs from storage in order to meet the demand of pediatric patients.

“We also received a shipment of 10 cribs from your Stryker Corporation. Additional baby cribs have been ordered so that we are well positioned to handle additional pediatric patients, ” said Jeremy Kelly, business assurance specialist with that medical center.

A spokesperson for Stryker declined to comment.

Demand at Hard Manufacturing, which makes cribs, bassinets plus youth beds for hospitals, has shot up, President Marjorie Bryen said.

“It’s already been a crazy time over the past 4-6 weeks and it doesn’t appear to be calming down anytime soon, ” she wrote within an email.

“Since we make our products to order for each hospital customer, this spike in demand (especially after the very limited demand during the 2 years associated with COVID) has been a challenge for us to maintain our typical turnaround times. We are working overtime to meet the particular demand as best we can. Maintaining the high quality product is critical and cutting corners is not an option, ” Bryen stated.

Ventilators are also in need, according to the American Hospital Association, which obtained its first non-Covid-related request to the dynamic ventilator reserve since the program’s launch in April 2020 due to the rise in RSV cases.

More shortages affecting hospitals

Cynthia Zheng, director of pharmacy operations and assistance services at Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware Valley, says some shortages have been ongoing because the Covid-19 pandemic.

“These shortages vary from items being on backorder with no estimated shipping date to product discontinuation without notice. The reasons include transportation issues and labor shortages, ” Zheng said. “At Nemours Children’s Health, these supply challenges are magnified due in order to pediatric populations needing more specialized equipment to accommodate different stages associated with growth. In addition, the high volumes as a result of an early surge in RSV, have only put a lot more strain on an already stressed system. ”

And because more people turn to medications to ease symptoms or treat infections, private hospitals are reporting a shortage of things like Tamiflu, amoxicillin, Augmentin plus albuterol.

The shortage of these key medications used to deal with common childhood illnesses like flu, ear infections and sore throats doesn’t seem to be a manufacturing problem but a result of increased demand.

With regard to over-the-counter children’s painkillers has also increased, fueled by the surge within respiratory ailments.

At Seattle Children’s, Emily Benefield, manager of pharmacy clinical programs, encourages families to wait to buy over-the-counter liquid fever reducers if their child doesn’t have a fever and in order to “consider other ways to keep your child comfortable such since ensuring they are well hydrated plus avoiding overheating with clothing and blankets. ”

Such alternative treatments “could be a key factor in addressing the disadvantages, ” Zheng said.

Chief Pharmacy Officer Champ Burgess of College Hospitals Cleveland says officials there are asking doctors to prescribe alternative medications, such as cephalexin and trimethoprim, to reduce the necessity upon some associated with the affected drugs.

“We try to save the medication for patients who really need this and there’s no some other alternatives available, but if there is a good alternative, we provide guidelines for physicians to switch to, ” Burgess mentioned.

Nancy Foster, vice president with regard to quality and patient safety policy in the United states Hospital Organization, said that preserving medicines for individuals who critically need them is especially important with the pediatric population.

“We want to be really good stewards of the particular drugs that are from our fingertips because these people are in limited supply and because we know that if we give them when they’re not needed, it can actually increase the strength of the viral infection, ” she said.

Staying resilient

While hospital systems may seem in order to be at a tipping point – overburdened with sick people plus running away of medicine and gear – Mike Schiller, senior director of the supply chain with the Association regarding Health Care Resource & Materials Management, stated not to worry.

“We’re coming up on three years that we’ve been in this type of an environment, and the back of the US health care system – private hospitals – offers not broken, ” he said. “We’re very resistant, very resourceful. And I think that will you’ve seen that across both the particular clinical plus supply string operational workflows and processes to support patient care, and we’ll continue to do so with both RSV, flu and any Covid cases that come up. ”

Last month, children’s health frontrunners requested a formal emergency declaration through the federal authorities to support hospitals and communities amid an “alarming surge of pediatric respiratory health problems, including respiratory system syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza, along with the continuing children’s mental wellness emergency. ”

The Biden administration provides not declared a public emergency intended for RSV or flu, but in a letter to the particular nation’s governors Friday, ALL OF US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra wrote that the public health emergency declaration for Covid-19 can become applied to more broadly address challenges brought on by a confluence of Covid-19 and other respiratory and seasonal illnesses.

“The Administration has exercised regulatory flexibilities to help health care providers and suppliers continue in order to respond to COVID-19. These flexibilities – while critical within addressing the COVID-19 pandemic – may also help address many of the challenges you face during the spread associated with non-COVID-19 illnesses, including RSV and flu, ” the particular letter states. “They remain available to you plus health treatment providers as you all create care available in response in order to flu, RSV, COVID-19, and other ailments. ”

For example , if the hospital offers staffing shortages that have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, it may use a waiver that would allow improved surge capacity or easier patient transfers – even if the patients need treatment to get something other than Covid-19, such as flu or even RSV.

Becerra acknowledged that will flu along with other respiratory viruses are “increasing strain” on the country’s healthcare systems, plus said the Biden administration “stands ready to continue assisting you with resources, supplies, and personnel. ”

CNN’s Deidre McPhillips, Brenda Goodman plus Raenu Charles contributed to this report.

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