Respiratory diseases lead the Rio Preto HCM to maximum capacity

Respiratory diseases caused a 53.7% increase in pediatric care at the Emergency Care Units (UPAs) in Rio Preto. Growth also registered in the private network, which reaches close to 40% in the comparison between January and April this year. At the Hospital da Criança e Maternity (HCM), all beds are occupied. A survey by the Department of Health points out that 60% of children have respiratory infections of the upper airways, with viruses such as rhinovirus and adenovirus, which cause flu and colds.

In the UPAs, 37,710 pediatric consultations were registered between January 1st and April 30th of this year, which gives a daily average of 314 children who went through the emergency care. Two thirds of this demand has been concentrated in the North UPA. On the afternoon of Friday, the 27th, the queue consisted mainly of parents with children with respiratory problems.

“I already have two hours on hold, with my four-year-old son (Joaquim). He has the flu and a fever of 38 degrees. I came to the UPA to find out what he has and what he needs to lower the temperature,” says worker Mateus Santos, a resident of Solo Sagrado.

Housewife Adriana Socorro Soares da Silva, 40, from the Nova Esperança neighborhood, also sought care at the North UPA to try to cure her granddaughter Maria Eduarda, 9, for a cold. “She has had body pain for three days, fever that does not go away. I just want a doctor to tell me what medicine to give my granddaughter to get better”, says the grandmother.

With so much demand at the same time, there was confusion on Friday afternoon with parents tired of waiting for care. The situation was only resolved with the arrival of two teams from the Municipal Civil Guard (GCM).

Mateus Santos with his son, Joaquim, at the North UPA: the place was full this Friday, 27th (Guilherme Baffi 5/27/2022)

The Municipal Health Department listed some of the diseases that have led to the increase in attendances. Among them are Influenza, which causes impairment of general condition, cough, high fever, respiratory discomfort, body pain and loss of appetite. In some situations, it generates the need for hospitalization.

According to the City Hall, the historical series shows that the greatest demands in pediatrics occur in April, May and June, but then in July there is a drop due to the lower circulation of children, with the school holidays.

Fernanda Del Campo Braojos Braga, technical director of Hospital da Criança e Maternity, says that 80% of hospitalizations are due to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). “According to our May survey, 80% of those hospitalized were infected with the syncytial virus. It causes a little more serious pictures, especially in children up to two years old”, explains the doctor.

The virus can cause breathing difficulties, characterized by bronchiolitis, which makes the child tired in the breathing process. Children are hospitalized to use oxygen and some cases require intubation. Hospitalizations last from two to 15 days, depending on the health condition, which varies from case to case, explains the average specialist in pediatric radiology.

“To prevent, don’t expose children to very crowded and closed environments, because they don’t have robust immunity yet. I recommend that parents do not take their children to day care centers or schools when they have flu-like symptoms”, said the doctor.

Private network has increased demand

The private network of Rio Preto is also being pressured by the demand for pediatric care, caused by respiratory diseases.

At Austa Hospital, there was a 38% increase in pediatric visits in May when compared to January. When compared to April, however, there was a 1% reduction in the total number of calls. The last balance sheet, referring to Thursday, pointed to 85% of bed occupancy.

At Hospital Beneficência Portuguesa in Rio Preto, pediatric emergency care jumped from 930 in January to 1,774 in April this year. Most cases are caused by respiratory infections and gastroenteritis. All pediatric beds are occupied, but as the demand for hospitalization increases, the institution opens extra vacancies to ensure that everyone is attended to, the hospital said.

At Unimed Hospital in Rio Preto, demand rose from 4,770 visits in January to 6,506 in April. (BUT)

What to do when symptoms appear

The main causes of health problems in children are respiratory diseases. In addition to them, in the last few weeks, we also had cases of cough, sore throat, bronchospasm, asthma attacks, bronchiolitis, in addition to suspected dengue, viral gastroenteritis, among others.

Children with mild symptoms such as mild cough, runny nose, low-grade fever, for example, can stay at home and be treated with symptomatic medication, antipyretic, nasal wash, and inhalation with saline solution. In Emergency Care there are children with other pathologies, and exposing the patient to this environment is not the most advisable.

However, if the child presents clinical worsening, then the ideal is to seek emergency care. In respiratory cases, the symptoms are shortness of breath, cough followed by vomiting, difficulty in eating and vomiting after eating. Newborns who have a fever without other symptoms should also be taken to the PA.

In other situations such as suspected dengue, severe pain in the belly, loss of appetite, bleeding, diarrhea in large quantities, decreased urine, drowsiness, agitation, spots on the body, dizziness, very high fever, above 39 degrees or a sudden fall temperature, the family should take the child to the Emergency Room.

Isabella De Lalibera Bellintani, Children’s Pulmonologist at Unimed Rio Preto

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