As vaccination rates lag and the new delta variant surges, COVID infection rates among kids have risen and children’s hospitals are seeing a spike in medical care needs among the young patients, NBC News reports.
Multiple doctors in the half-dozen children’s hospitals NBC News reached out to said they have seen children infected because a member of their household, often a parent, brings the coronavirus home. Oftentimes, it is because an adult in the home is unvaccinated.
Combined with the rise in out-of-season respiratory illnesses among children this summer, bed shortages and overworked doctors and nurses in children’s hospitals are becoming commonplace. It remains particularly concerning as children under 12 remain the most vulnerable to COVID since they are not yet able to receive the vaccinations.
“We’re also a trauma center, so we have to be available for kids that get in car accidents and things like that,” said Dr. Trey Dunbar, the president of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. “My fear is that with our staffing crunch, if this surge continues, how do we keep caring for the kids that we need to have beds for?”