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'Busiest we've been': Riley PICU, ER see skyrocketing numbers

Riley's PICU
Posted at 7:22 PM, Oct 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-04 19:22:10-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Doctors at Riley Hospital for Children say they are seeing historically high numbers in their emergency department and in their Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Doctors tell WRTV it is all because of a slew of respiratory viruses -- including COVID, flu and RSV — spreading rapidly in the community. Since September 15th, Riley’s emergency department has seen positive tests for:

  • Adenovirus-17
  • COVID-26
  • Influenza A-1
  • Influenza B-1
  • Human metapneumovirus- 7
  • Parainfluenza-18
  • RSV-76
  • Rhinovirus/Enterovirus-83

As of Tuesday afternoon, 83 patients are in active respiratory isolation, meaning anyone who goes into those rooms has to wear PPE.

The hospital’s PICU is running at more than 100% capacity. Doctors tell WRTV they are working quickly to expand as the need increases. The worry here is it is not even traditional cold and flu season.

“These viruses spread really easily, and we don’t know why one child is going to get very ill and need the ICU and why one child won’t. It’s very hard to predict that. But we know as the spread continues, that we are going to see more and more children who need the ICU and this level of care,” Dr. Stefan Malin, a critical care physician at Riley, said.

In response, Riley is implementing visitor restrictions beginning Tuesday evening. Historically, those restrictions do not start until sometime in November.

  • No one under the age of 18 will be allowed to visit, including patient siblings
  • Pediatric inpatients may have two parents/guardians and up to four designated visitors
  • Maternity Unit patients can have up to six designated adults
  • Only two visitors can visit at a time
  • Anyone showing signs of illness should not visit until they are healthy
  • By limiting exposure of viruses to our patients, we can all keep patients safe.