Dhe supply situation for sick children in Germany continues to worsen. According to a survey by the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), 43 out of 110 children’s hospitals recently had no beds available in a normal ward. Nationwide, only 83 beds were available in the pediatric intensive care units.
Every second clinic reported that at the time of the survey a week ago, they had to send away within one day at least one child for whom the rescue service or the emergency room was looking for a place in the children’s intensive care unit. “This situation is getting worse from year to year and is carried out on the backs of critically ill children,” said DIVI Secretary General Florian Hoffmann.
According to the survey, almost 40 percent of the available beds were blocked, mainly because there was a lack of nursing staff. In many cases, seriously ill children have to be transferred to other hospitals nationwide. The association of intensive care physicians spoke out in favor of establishing special transport systems with which seriously ill children can also be transferred over long distances. Recently, children who have been infected with the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) have been admitted particularly often. “The RSV wave continues to build up and makes treatment with respiratory support necessary for many children,” said intensive care physician Sebastian Brenner.
Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) announced in Berlin that in future nursing staff will be transferred from the adult wards of the hospitals to the pediatric wards. In addition, paediatricians can continue to write their patients sick by phone, which should relieve the burden on the resident paediatricians. Lauterbach asked parents to postpone non-urgent check-ups for their children by “a few weeks”.