Kaleida Health has raised the age limit to 25 for patients at Oishei Children's Hospital so younger patients can come across the bridge and free up beds at Buffalo General Medical Center.
The number of COVID patients in hospitals is rising again and hospitals are preparing. There have been cuts in inpatient elective surgery in some hospitals and concern about being ready for this surging second wave. Although treatments are better than they were in the spring, there are also changes in who is admitted and receives higher levels of care.
On Tuesday, Buffalo General had 79 confirmed COVID patients, including 21 in ICU. Millard Suburban had 56 cases, including seven in ICU.
Children's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Turkovich said hospital staff is familiar with treating COVID patients.
"We generally have anywhere from zero to two or three cases," he said. "Currently, we have three cases. One of them is an OB case. The other two are pediatric cases and each one of these positive patients is admitted to a negative pressure isolation room. So they are completely isolated. There's obviously full PPE on a pediatric med-surg floors and then our OB patient is on an OB floor in an isolation room."
Turkovich said there are Children's beds available because fewer kids are developing problems with flu or RSV, perhaps because so few are going to school with other kids and catching diseases. Last year, Children's was overflowing with RSV cases.
"Fortunately, as kids are not getting sick and not in school and not getting each other sick, we do have some significant capacity," said Turkovish. "So, unlike last year at this time when we were full and expanding the surge areas due to RSV, we have seen, I don't think actually, any RSV thus far this year and any flu this year. So the hospital has room and we're happy to accomodate our young adult friends."