Six children admitted to intensive care with RSV

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 11, 2021 |

Six children with RSV were admitted to Christchurch Hospital’s ICU last week, but the Canterbury District Health Board says the situation is improving.

Christchurch Hospital had 28 patients with confirmed RSV, as of Tuesday. Seven were children.

Source: Canterbury District Health Board

Chief Medical Officer Dr Helen Skinner said the hospital doesn’t swab all patients and so positive swabs don’t represent all those assessed/admitted with RSV or other respiratory illness.

The actual number will be higher. 

She said “there has been a decline in the number of children requiring assessment and admission with respiratory illness from the peak experienced in early to mid-July.”

Dr Skinner said “numbers now are more typical of usual winter, with a range of severity of illness – we, as expected, continue to have some children requiring breathing support.”

“While RSV is a serious disease for the very young, older adults, people with compromised immune systems and those with heart or lung conditions are also more seriously affected by RSV and other respiratory illness and we have seen an increase in numbers admitted and in acuity for these groups across numerous medical wards over recent weeks, not just paediatrics.”Urgent Care Clinics were still reporting a lot of respiratory illness “which continues to impact heavily on them.”

They have been seeing presentations 10-15 percent above the norm for this time of year with many of the additional walk-in patients arriving in the first four hours which has flow-on effects that extend through the whole day. They are not seeing a decline in presentations.

At the time that ED and the three urgent care clinics were seeing unprecedented numbers of children under 6 years of age, general practice teams were also kept busy with increased numbers of patients presenting with RSV and other respiratory symptoms, especially children. 

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

Have you got a news tip? Get in touch here

got a news tip?