3 December 2022
Intensive care doctors in Germany warned on Thursday that hospital paediatric units in the country are stretched to breaking point in part due to rising cases of respiratory infections among infants. The intensive care association DIVI said the seasonal surge in respiratory syncytial virus cases and a shortage of nurses was causing a “catastrophic situation” in hospitals.
RSV is a common, highly contagious virus that infects nearly all babies and toddlers by age 2, some of whom can fall seriously ill. In some cases, children with RSV or other serious conditions are getting transferred to hospitals elsewhere in Germany with spare capacity.
DIVI said a recent survey showed fewer than 100 free paediatric beds nationwide and that the situation could worsen. German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced on Thursday that the government was easing some regulations to make it easier to transfer nurses to paediatric units and providing an additional 600 million euros to paediatric hospitals over the coming two years.
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