Long waiting times in the emergency rooms, no free beds - and many sick children: the Bavarian children's hospitals are still in a state of emergency - there is no sign of the all-clear.
Bayreuth/Munich (dpa/lby) - Many sick children and overcrowded wards: The situation in the children's clinics in the Free State is still extremely tense. "The waiting times are still long and we still have to transfer sick children to children's clinics that are closer and further away," said Johannes Hübner, head of pediatric infectiology at Dr. von Haunersches Children's Hospital at the Ludwig Maximilian University Clinic. "Our clinic is full at the moment, we have to discharge or transfer children to take in new ones. However, so far no child who needs inpatient care has been sent away."
Matthias Keller, head of the Third Order children's clinic in Passau and chairman of the Southern German Society for Child and Adolescent Medicine, told the dpa: "The teams do an excellent job, every patient is cared for." However, the situation is very tense. He does not yet see any abating of the wave of infections.
The reason for the overcrowded clinics are severe respiratory diseases. The affected children are often infected with the RS virus, which can be particularly dangerous for infants and small children, who then need oxygen or fluids by infusion in the clinic, for example. Influenza and pneumonia are also common.
The current situation shows "like in a burning glass" what deficits have existed for years, emphasized Keller. In metropolitan areas in particular, there is an increasing threat of bed closures because there are no nurses who can look after the beds.
A spokeswoman explained that 80 to 90 children came to the emergency room at the University Hospital in Augsburg every day. 30 percent of them would be admitted as inpatients: "In total, including children's surgery, we have 148 beds that can be used. They are all currently occupied." A children's hospital is considered to be fully utilized at 80 percent occupancy. In Augsburg, 120 percent have also been reached at times in the past few weeks.
There are 16 beds in the children's intensive care unit, but 4 of them are closed almost continuously because there is a lack of staff. "In the next few months there is a risk of further bed closures due to staff shortages," warned the spokeswoman.
The clinic is fully occupied, said a spokesman for the Würzburg University Hospital. However: "Emergency care is still ensured by specially provided emergency beds." However, planned recordings are currently being postponed if it is medically justifiable. He pointed out that children with a positive corona test are still being cared for: "This is also still part of everyday life in our children's hospital."
The Bayreuth Clinic says that only emergency beds are currently available. RSV and influenza infections in children occur more frequently, but also much earlier than in the previous winters. "The emergency room in our children's hospital is working under high pressure. However, waiting times of several hours are unfortunately currently possible," emphasized a spokeswoman for the Upper Franconian hospital.
The Passau chief physician Keller said that in the past few days one has also observed increasingly aggressive behavior by parents in the emergency rooms. He has no understanding for this. The teams of doctors and nurses would do their best, but "aggressive behavior is unacceptable".