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C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital has reached 100% capacity following a surge in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), according to a Thursday press release from Michigan Medicine. So far this year, the hospital has seen 259 cases of RSV, a 46% increase over 2021.  

This spike comes prior to the expected surge of the flu and COVID-19 cases. Across the country healthcare systems have already begun to see increased numbers of flu and COVID-19 cases and are encouraging everyone to stay up to date on vaccinations for both viruses.  With an early increase in RSV cases in children’s hospitals across the country, health systems are concerned for the coalescence of all three illnesses. Luanne Thomas Ewald, chief operating officer at Mott and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, said the surge is unprecedented. 

“We have never seen a surge in pediatric respiratory viruses like this before. Our hospital is 100% full,” Thomas said in the press release. “This is incredibly concerning because we haven’t even seen the full impact of flu season yet.”

Due to the limited capacity at the hospital, Mott physicians including Dr. Kimberly Monroe, chief clinical officer and pediatric hospitalist at Mott, recommend parents call their child’s primary care physician to determine whether an in-person visit is necessary.

“The vast majority of children with RSV experience cold symptoms and can rest and recover at home,” Monroe said in the press release. “However, if they’re showing any signs of severe illness, such as trouble breathing, they may need immediate care and should be brought to the emergency department. We’re particularly concerned about children under the age of 2.”

Mott is working to increase bed capacity and possibly transfer patients to other local hospitals.

“We’re working very closely with our partners around the state to find space for children who need care even if it’s not at our hospital.  We’re also looking at unique ways to increase our bed capacity during the surge,” Ewald said.

Daily Staff Reporter Matthew Shanbom can be reached at shanbom@umich.edu.