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UPMC Children’s Hospital sets up tent to handle surge of RSV cases

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – UPMC Children’s Hospital set up a tent so it can better handle the surge of RSV patients.

In a video, Children’s Hospital Emergency Department Director Dr. Raymond Pitetti says the hospital has seen a “huge increase” in the number of children coming into the ER in the past six to eight weeks. He says the vast majority of them have respiratory illnesses caused by RSVwhich can be serious among children.

The hospital has set up a tent which Pitetti said can offer eight to ten more beds and allows the hospital to increase its resources and see more kids “in a timely manner.”

At some points Tuesday, the average wait time to see a doctor in the Emergency Department was close to four hours.

“If we start to see a major spike in the day and we have the resources to do it, we’re going to open up the tent and let kids in,” Pitetti said.

Pitetti acknowledged that wait times can “fluctuate” but that triage nurses will assess patients when they first come in and make the determination about whether the patient needs to be seen right away or can wait.

Doctors say if your child is having RSV symptoms that lead to difficulty breathing, wheezing or the inability to eat, then it’s time to go to the emergency room.