Cook Pediatricians Share Impact of Pandemic on Non-COVID-19 Patients-NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

While health officials express cautious optimism that COVID-19 hospital admissions are on the plateau among adults, they say the situation is growing terribly in our pediatric hospitals.

Amid the rise, Cook Children’s Medical Center announced this week that it is stopping optional surgeries and even sometimes diverting patients.

It is a situation that leaves doctors exhausted and forced to make tough decisions.

“It’s not nice right now in the hospital. Cook Children do everything they can to accommodate all the children in our community, but at what cost? Said general pediatrician Dr. Diane Arnaout.

On Friday, the hospital published a blog post written by Arnaout after interviewing about a dozen of her colleagues, all of whom had stories to share about the strain on the system.

It included a neurologist.

He said: ‘I am not able to have epilepsy surgery, which I have to do to prevent these children from having seizures.’ And possibly in the month they must have had this surgery, they may have a seizure that ends their life. And it’s really frustrating, ”Arnaout said.

An endocrinologist told her they were greeted with many walls as they tried to admit new diabetic patients who needed ICU care.

A gastroenterologist said they have to guess whether to place a feeding tube for some patients.

Meanwhile, the system’s ENTs weigh the worst case scenario before opting for airway surgery, taking into account the lack of available PICU space.

“It’s unfair and kind of devastating sometimes when a family has planned to have a waiver, which is when a breathing tube is taken out of a child. You know, they’ve planned it for the last six months, and here comes “We are sorry. We do not have room for you. We do not have the resources right now,” she said.

It is an emotionally draining situation for a healthcare system that is already stretched thin.

“It’s devastating and it’s heartbreaking to be a doctor right now, because when you want to help, sometimes things happen in our hospital system where we just can’t get that help sometimes. Even though Cook is doing everything they can right now to just make ends meet and make sure every child who needs care gets it, ”Arnaout said.

For now, she said, she and her colleagues take it one day at a time as they hold on to the hope that society will do its part by distancing, masking and most importantly getting vaccinated.

“It’s amazing what small changes in our actions can make for our society as a whole,” he said.

Arnaout also urges parents to go ahead and get their children vaccinated against the flu, which they have already seen a few cases of.

You can read her full article and interviews with her colleagues in Cook Children’s Checkup Newsroom.

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