OHSU Children’s Hospital and Legacy Emanuel implement standards of crisis care
Two hospitals that provide much of Oregon’s pediatric intensive care capacity have moved to crisis standards of care, the state health system’s latest step in the fight influx cases of respiratory diseases in children.
The crisis standardsdeveloped by the Oregon Health Authority, help hospitals decide which patients will receive care when resources are severely limited and allow them to relax staffing standards so nurses can care for more patients.
The primary culprit that sends infants and children to the hospital is RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus. The virus is particularly dangerous for infants and the number of children hospitalized with it has risen dramatically in recent weeks. The influx of patients combined with a constant shortage of staff has put a serious strain on hospitals.
Two hospitals, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at Oregon Health & Science University and Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, have the majority of pediatric intensive care unit beds. The hospitals have a combined capacity of 44 beds, but the actual number of staffed beds varies. Providence St. Vincent has an additional four pediatric intensive care beds and can expand to six if needed, a Providence spokesman said.
As of a week ago, there were a total of 40 pediatric intensive care beds statewide, three of which were available, an Oregon Health Department spokesman said at the time. OHA will release updated hospital capacity numbers on Wednesday.
IN announcing his decision On Tuesday, Randall Children’s Hospital said it was postponing non-urgent pediatric procedures, asking staff to work extra shifts and use “creative staff options” to provide care. A spokesman for Legacy Health would not say how many of its pediatric intensive care beds are available.
“This has been an unprecedented respiratory virus season, both in terms of timing and the number of children infected,” Randall Children’s Hospital vice president and chief nursing officer Cindy Hill said in a statement announcing the transition. “We are implementing safe solutions to meet the community’s demand for pediatric beds.”
Doernbecher activated the emergency standards on Monday at 7 p.m. An OHSU spokesman said its pediatric intensive care unit is “full to capacity.” The hospital does not yet triage care, but uses crisis standards to allocate its resources more efficiently.
According to standards issued by the state in January of this year, hospitals can switch to crisis standards of care if their “critical care resources are severely limited, the number of patients coming to critical care exceeds capacity, and there is no possibility of transferring patients to other critical care facilities.” care.”
The hospital’s moves come just over a week after Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency due to the increasing number of hospitalizations of children. The declaration could free up funds for hospitals and give them more flexibility in hospital beds. A recent forecast from OHSU predicts RSV hospitalizations will peak on Nov. 30, with 129 admissions, up from 77 in the week ending Nov. 9.