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Central Indiana pediatric hospitals continue fighting RSV, respiratory illnesses

Peyton Manning Children's unique treatment to fight RSV
Unique Tool Helping Treat RSV in Indiana
Posted at 11:29 AM, Nov 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-08 11:29:36-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Pediatric hospitals around central Indiana continue to feel the strain of respiratory viruses like RSV.

Across the state, the Indiana Hospital Association noted Monday, 70% of pediatric ICU beds are filled. It added some facilities have only about 10% of PICU beds open.

“We always have surges but I’ve never seen it overwhelm the hospitals quite so much as what we’re seeing right now,” said Dr. Andrew Beardsley with Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.

On Monday, the northwest side hospital said its PICU is at capacity with half of its patients fighting RSV. This comes as the surge in the respiratory virus continues.

Riley Hospital for Children said on Monday that it's seeing “a 10% increase in patient volume over the last week.” Emergency room capacity downtown and the PICU at IU Health North-Carmel have also been expanded.

One tool unique to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital is called a chest cuirass, also known as a “turtle shell.” This treatment wraps around the patient’s chest and creates negative pressure to allow for easier breathing. It is key to RSV treatments, according to respiratory therapists at the hospital.

Peyton Manning Children’s said it is the only hospital with the technology in the state.

Hannah Lyell used the turtle shell during her six-day stay at Peyton Manning Children’s PICU. Last month, the then seven-month-old was admitted with RSV.

Her mother, Kym, said their Plainfield family is grateful for the care. Kym’s biggest fear is her daughter going on a ventilator. The Turtle Shell’s main goal is to create time for care providers and avoid a child going on a ventilator.

After a week’s hospital stay last month, Hannah is back home thriving with her twin brother, Nolan.