Last year and this early 2023 have been very difficult for Pediatric Emergency Departments around the world.
Adriana Yock-Corrales, Costa Rica
Deal with the triple virus pandemic has generated a greater number of hospitalizations and an increase in outpatient visits in ambulatory care.
Record hospitalizations for unwell children with influenza have been observed as never before and some of them with the adjuvant of co-infection by other viruses such as SARS CoV-2 and RSV.
From an economic point of view, this increases health expenses, but also physicians who take care of these children will become more tired and might associate burnout.
The point is that a few years ago, when the pandemic began, when prevention measures were the mainstay to keep children out of hospitals, they generated an immunological debt, especially in younger children, which makes them more susceptible to getting more seriously ill.
With the relaxation of hygiene measures to prevent infections, emergency departments have been flooded with patients seeking medical care.
In my country, Costa Rica, in the rainy season we have faced this phenomenon and we needed to buy more supplies for ventilatory support for sick infants.
For the countries that are still in winter and suffering the consequences of this immunological debt, I can only wish them luck and tell them that, like everything in medicine, times will pass and we will become stronger.
Reference: BMJ 2022;379:o2681