‘Tripledemic’ demands take toll on KC hospital staff

Higher flu, COVID-19 and RSV counts have taxed staff at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., this month. Flu numbers have doubled this week, staffers noted.

By

State News

November 18, 2022 - 1:49 PM

At Children’s Mercy, the number of patients doctors and nurses are treating for the flu has more than doubled in the past couple of days. Federal, state and local officials are pushing for increased urgency around the surge in respiratory illnesses. Photo by Carlos Moreno / KCUR 89.3

Jennifer Watts entered a media briefing Thursday a few minutes behind schedule.

Watts, the chief emergency management officer for Children’s Mercy Hospital, came directly from assisting in the emergency room. There, Children’s Mercy Hospital staff are working around the clock to help a growing waiting list of children suffering from several respiratory illnesses spiking around the country.

As of Thursday, Children’s Mercy had 15 children on its waiting list — forcing an already understaffed group to pick up extra shifts to accommodate all those sick with the flu, RSV and COVID-19.

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