‘Tragic and heinous’: pediatrician’s report on record hospitalization of children for covid in the US

Hospitalizations of children affected by covid-19 reached their highest level in the United States since the country began monitoring this type of case about a year ago.

(Photo: EBC)

At the end of August, the average daily hospitalization was around 300, according to the US public health agency’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Doctors warn that the situation could worsen as schools start the school year and the more contagious Delta variant spreads across the country.

The mortality rate of children with covid is less than 1%, but the most serious problem, according to experts, are the consequences that the virus can cause.

Among them, the multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PIMS, its acronym in English), which can cause damage to the heart, digestive, nervous and respiratory systems.

Pediatrician Christina Propst reports her experience in treating children with covid-19 and the situation at Texas Medical Center, the largest medical complex in the world.

Rayita
“What I see in children with covid scares me. Some of my patients have needed intensive care, and in recent weeks there have been infant deaths at Texas Medical Center.

These deaths are devastating, especially when you see the suffering that an intubated child has had to go through for a long period of time.

The problem is that Delta is affecting more children than other variants. In fact, at Texas Pediatric Hospital, a third of children who arrive with covid need intensive care.

This usually means they need respiratory support. It’s really painful to see children intubated for covid.

I wouldn’t have said that a year ago when we had the Alpha variant, but that was nothing compared to what we’re experiencing now.

Covid cases in children across the country have quadrupled in the last month, and one reason is that the Delta variant is transmitted much more easily.

A second reason is that children are not being vaccinated. On the one hand, children under 12 are not eligible for immunization; on the other hand, many teenagers were not vaccinated. This is a big problem.

The third reason is the fact that many adults don’t wear a mask. They walk around as if there is nothing wrong, not knowing that they may be asymptomatic and therefore infect their children or other children.

I wish more people could see what frontline pediatricians are seeing now. It’s just tragic, heinous, devastating.

I feel the same way many pediatricians do. I feel a combination of pain, anger and frustration because the death of a child by covid is completely preventable.

If you have a child over the age of 12, you must have him vaccinated. It’s like when you demand that he buckle up in his car so his life isn’t in danger.

I have seen parents who have lost their children and beg people to get vaccinated to spare other families the pain they are feeling.

I remember a case where one of my patients, a baby just five weeks old, was diagnosed with covid. The mother also had the disease.

It is a large family, with few economic resources and who does not speak English as a first language. Fortunately, this baby is fine and is now at home.

But other children, unfortunately, have very serious sequelae, such as a multisystem inflammatory reaction that can damage the heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs.

We are seeing an increase in this type of case, but many people don’t know this. If a child has myocarditis and contracts covid, he may suffer from heart failure. In other cases, you may suffer from kidney failure that requires dialysis even after the covid is cured.

I would say that, in addition to death, these are some of the most serious possible sequelae that the disease can cause.

To read the full story on BBC Brazil Click here.