As DN has previously reported, one has record-breaking RS virus season led to a shortage of care places at the region’s hospitals. But the region fears that the culmination has not yet been reached. Therefore, parents are now encouraged to keep older siblings at home from preschool in the coming weeks, if you have a newborn sibling at home.
– If you have children younger than four months whose older siblings go to preschool, it may be wise to keep the older child home from preschool for a few weeks to reduce the risk of infecting the little sibling with RS virus. We know that many babies are infected by their older siblings, says Elda Sparrelid, chief physician in the Stockholm Region in a press release.
The reason for the new advice to parents is that the Stockholm Region fears an even higher pressure on pediatric care, which is already under great pressure.
– It is a challenging situation with a high load on the emergency department and our care places. Right now, RS patients account for 40 percent of all inpatient care for children at Karolinska, says Malin Ryd Rinder, operations manager for pediatric emergency care at Astrid Lindgren’s children’s hospital.
She welcomes the region’s advice to parents on keeping preschool children at home, if you also have a baby who is younger than 4 months.
– Those who are admitted for inpatient care with RS virus are mainly children under four months who have older siblings. We need to reduce the spread of infection for this group urgently. That is why we appeal to parents with such small children to keep older siblings at home from preschool for a few weeks. See it as an extended autumn holiday, says Malin Ryd Rinder.
The region’s children’s hospital forced to cancel planned care, research and education in order to deal with the historically early peak of RS virus. The emergency rooms are also under heavy pressure.
– We have unfortunately had children who have waited for 12 hours to see a doctor in the emergency room as we have to prioritize the sickest children first. Of course we do probes, measure oxygenation and such, but there are also many of those who seek emergency care who do not need to be in the emergency rooms. In the first instance, you should contact 1177, go to your health center or emergency room, says Malin Ryd Rinder.