Sainte-Justine and the Children's say H1N1 having an impact
Published Thursday, June 25, 2009 6:17PM EDT
The two Montreal children's hospitals say the H1N1 virus is having an impact on their ERs and on the number of patients being admitted.
The Montreal Children's Hospital says they have seen a 20-to-25 per cent increase in the number of patients visiting the ER, brining the total daily number of visitors to around 250 according to Dr. Harley Eisman, ER director.
Parents are bringing their kids in because they are worried, like the parents of 14-month-old Diago.
"He wasn't drinking, wasn't eating, was very cranky. Usually he sleeps pretty well. We were just nervous and decided to bring him inside," said Carols Bianco, Diago's concerned dad.
If a patient arrives at the Children's showing flu symptoms they are given a mask, and all visitors are asked to use hand sanitizer.
Beyond that, "I mean it's really grandma's remedy," says Eisman. "It's Tylenol, chicken soup, apple juice, lots of rest. We obviously examine them to make sure there are no other infections going on that need treatment."
Officials at Sainte-Justine Hospital say they have seen a decrease in the overall number of visits to the ER. Usually they are about 40 per cent over-capacity at this time of year; now they are only 10-to-20 per cent over-capacity.
However, the number of patients admitted on suspicion of the H1N1 virus has increased.
"We actually usually close beds during the summer season which we have not been able to do because of the affluence of the H1N1 in-patients. So it does have an impact," said Dr. Sarah Bouchard, with Sainte-Justine. "And if it continues to increase it may start to impact on elective cases, elective procedures."
In an effort to stem the spread of the virus the hospital has asked that only parents or guardians visit--meaning no friends, relatives or children under the age of 18.
Both hospitals are anticipating a decline in the number of cases over the summer, but a spike when kids return to school in September.