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HDCH President addresses “unprecedented” RSV surge

Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, Grand Rapids
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Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, Grand Rapids

One day after Grand Rapids’ Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and Corewell Health filed a Certificate of Need with the state asking for more beds to meet the need of surging RSV cases, the hospital hosted a virtual news conference discussing the situation

RSV, also known as Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is highly contagious. It impacts the young and elderly particularly hard. It starts out like a cold: runny nose, cough and congestion. The youngest of the young, less than one year of age are most at-risk. They can struggle to breath.

As of Tuesday, 51 patients have been admitted to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital with Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV; 20 are in the Intensive Care Unit and 31 on the floors. All told, that’s about 1/3 of all admitted patients.

Dr. Hossain Marandi is President of Helen DeVos Children’s’ Hospital. He describes the surge in RSV cases as ‘unprecedented.’ He says multiple patients are on ventilators triggering a request with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for an additional 48 ICU beds. Once approved, that would bring the total to 117 in the Intensive Care Unit.

“The request was for additional ICU beds because we do feel that we want to be as prepared as we can be for the future. We don’t know what the future’s going to bring. We don’t know what’s going to happen with RSV itself or with flu as it comes or any other virus that we might see as the seasons change. So, we want to make sure that we’re fully capable of taking care of those kids.”

Dr. Marandi says the hospital has extended the ICU flexing the current number of hospital beds. That includes in-patient spaces. It’s also redistributing its pediatric staff from other areas.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.
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