News & Updates

NMC Caring for an Increase in Pediatric Respiratory Patients

A Message from Dr. Colleen Moran, Director of Inpatient Pediatrics

Dr. Colleen Moran, Director of Inpatient Pediatrics

Northwestern Medical Center is well prepared and caring for the rise in Pediatric Respiratory Patients.

Being a parent can be scary at times and during a pandemic adds another level of concern.  We are seeing an early increase in pediatric respiratory illnesses. These are the same viruses that we typically see in the winter months, they are not new or more virulent than previous years. As we all return to more normal daily activities, including time indoors without masks, these viruses are spreading quickly and having an impact on our youngest community members.

At NMC we have an inpatient pediatric service that is available 24/7/365 to provide care for the pediatric patients in our community. We are collaborating closely with UVMMC and other community hospitals across the state to provide the best care for each individual patient. Northwestern Medical Center prepared for this anticipated need with appropriate equipment and education for the pediatric care team members.

Currently, we are seeing a rise in RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) infections which causes common cold symptoms in older children and adults. This same virus can cause younger children to have fevers, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. Thankfully, we know how to support and care for these children if they need to come into the hospital. Some of these children need extra breathing support and may need an IV for hydration. Many of these patients can be appropriately cared for at NMC with our dedicated team and if they do require additional support or treatments, we can safely transfer them to UVMMC.

What can you do to protect your family members?

  1. Stay home if you are sick, even if you test negative for COVID-19.
  2. Wash your hands regularly.
  3. Wear a mask when in public.
  4. If your child has a history of asthma, please talk with their primary care provider for an updated asthma action plan.
  5. Ensure everyone eligible is up to date for Influenza and Covid vaccinations, available at local pharmacies and Vermont Department of Health Walk in Vaccine Clinics Covid 19 + Influenza

Additional helpful resources:

UVMMC What you need to know about RSV, Flu, and Covid right now

FB live video on YouTube

Healthy RSV

When to seek medical care?

In general, your first call should be to your child’s primary care provider. They know you and your child best and can often provide education for home care or in office treatments.

Call your Primary care provider: Your child is not feeding well, not making as many wet diapers, or they are breathing hard and using neck and chest muscles to breath.

Visit the Emergency Department: Your child is under 8 weeks age with any irregular breathing pattern or pausing in breathing.