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DeVos Children's Hospital asks for emergency state help to add pediatric beds

The request for an additional 48 beds and designating 117 beds for ICU come amid the surging rate of RSV among children.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Corewell Health, formerly Spectrum Health, has requested an emergency Certificate of Need from the State of Michigan. Helen DeVos Children's Hospital is looking to add 48 beds and to designate 117 beds for intensive care. 

This comes as the state sees a surge in children sick with RSV, respiratory syncytial virus. The hospital system says that combined with cold and flu season, as well as COVID-19, it expects the RSV surge could last many weeks still. 

"Our community can rest assured that we are ready to care for children and their families," reads a Corewell Health statement. "While we are surging and emergency room wait times may be longer than usual, we are open and able to care for children who need us."

The virus' peak season is between November and March, overlapping with a bulk of the influenza cases.

Dr. Jerry Evans, Medical Director of the Region 6 Healthcare Coalition, says pediatrics hospitals across the state and in West Michigan are at or near capacity due to the diseases.

Here's how Evans says you can expect to be impacted by this:

  • Wait times for emergency, urgent or primary care may be much longer than usual 
  • Ambulance transfers may be delayed 
  • Visitor restrictions may need to be reinstated or increased 
  • You may have a prolonged stay in the emergency department waiting for a bed in the hospital 

He also provides the following tips to slow the spread:

  • Use hand sanitizer whenever possible 
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently 
  • Isolate at home if you have respiratory symptoms 
  • Protect the very young and elderly by staying away if you are sick 
  • Be patient with the healthcare workers as we deal with another tough time 
  • Please utilize your primary care office for minor or non-emergent problems 
  • Urgent care is also available for non-emergent needs If you have an emergency, please call 911 or go to the emergency department as soon as possible.

RELATED VIDEO: Helen DeVos Children's Hospital: RSV cases up more than 300% in the last month

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