Medical director of UMC Children’s Hospital weighs in on RSV surge

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 9:01 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - RSV and other respiratory viruses spreading this winter season are hitting our youngest population hard, an ICU Physician and Medical Director of UMC Children’s Hospital doesn’t want parents to panic, but to be cautious.

Dr. Meena Vohra said the last month has been ‘crazy.’

“We’re going crazy, it’s very busy we can barely keep a bed open before the next one comes in. So it’s a constant turnaround,” Dr. Vohra said.

RSV has been around for a long time but Dr. Vohra said the younger you are the harder it hits because you haven’t developed immunity.

“No masks and people are again getting together again for holidays and things like that they are getting infected very rapidly and they don’t have that immunity which they normally would have developed when they were little,” Dr. Vohra said.

On Wednesday the Nevada Hospital Association said a rise in RSV cases has led to a shortage of hospital cribs and pediatric beds. Dr. Vohra said their hospital is not experiencing a shortage of actual beds, just some room.

“We’re able to handle what we have, we do overflow sometimes when needed out of the pediatric unit you know we’ll have the older children go to a different floor. But out of yet we’ve been able to accommodate pretty well,” Dr. Vohra said.

She said oxygen is the first line of treatment and there is no shortage of that either.

“They start with oxygen needs you know if they can’t feed we give them IV fluids if their respiratory distress becomes worse then they may end up on a ventilator you know pretty much life support to do the breathing for them if they’re not able to breathe on their own,” Dr. Vohra said.

Dr. Vohra said the virus can be life-threatening to babies one year or younger.

“I’m also an ICU physician so the ones I see in the ICU are generally the younger population you know less than three years of age, those are the ones that are really hit hard,” Dr. Vohra said.

This holiday season she said if you’re sick stay away from children and suggest parents don’t panic.

“I just want the parents not to start panicking you know. Every cough or sniffle they don’t have to run to the hospital. If you hug your little kids and you’re coming from outside make sure you change your clothes, wash your hands if you have a cold or a cough stay away from the little ones, especially the younger babies,” Dr. Vohra said.

Dr. Vohra said right now they’re trying to isolate patients more and restrict the number of visitors to prevent further spreading.