Health: the pediatric emergency sector in crisis

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Pediatric emergency services have been saturated since the end of October. This is partly due to an epidemic of bronchiolitis, this viral respiratory infection that mainly affects children under the age of two. But the real reason is the deep crisis of the health system. The Minister of Health, François Braun, announced on November 2 an envelope “ around 400 million euros » Aid for services under pressure. But this measure is far from being enough, according to the Pediatrics Collective.

(Rebroadcast on November 17, 2022)

Faced with pediatric emergencies, a young mother with her feverish and tired little girl. They have been waiting for seven hours and the child has still not been seen. ” We have to wait, it’s as simple as that. There is a doctor for more than forty people. in a waiting room “he points out. ” So, we are just as clearly told that there is not enough space. There they sent me to a pediatric ward to return to a general practitioner because the waiting room had to be vacated.. »

This father leaves the emergency room in a hurry, his baby has been treated, but after long hours of waiting. ” We spent almost nine hours with him in the waiting room, which is unacceptable for me. “, the Mint.

He is no longer able to treat with dignity

As determined as she is concerned, Caroline is a nurse in the pediatric emergency department of a large hospital in the Paris region. She is formal: a little patient can no longer be cared for with dignity.

We are supposed to manage the emergency with a life risk in a more or less short term for the child who is brought to us “Carolina explains. ” We are all so overwhelmed with children [qui ont des cas] more or less serious that this child who would have been seen quickly in a normal setting, with enough staff, with enough space to see all the children, with enough doctors to see them, will find himself waiting for 5 to 6 hours sitting on the floor in middle of a hallway. We are there “, she loose

► Also to listen: Pediatric crisis: saturated hospital services

The nurse dares to say it, due to lack of resources you have to make decisions: ” It is choosing between two one-month-old children who have bronchiolitis, which of the two you will be entitled to a scope that will allow us to monitor your constants continuously, Which one will receive oxygen first… says the nurse.

The cry of pediatrics

Since the beginning of the epidemic, in Île-de-France, due to a lack of hospital beds, about forty children with respiratory distress have been transferred to provincial hospitals.

Véronique Hentgen is a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the Versailles hospital. She explains that the fate of little patients with bronchiolitis exists, but not only. ” The sick “others”, the chronically ill, diabetes in children, treating sickle cell disease in children… We can no longer hospitalize them except in life-threatening emergencies. So we have to figure it out: I know the government doesn’t like that term, but it is still the one we use, our patients to know who is most urgent and who needs a hospital bed the most, to decide who we are going to put in that bed. »

The pediatrician utters a cry of alarm: The public hospital will become a hospice if we don’t make an immediate structural reform. Not in three months now. »

Pediatric professionals feel completely abandoned.


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