Shortage of intensive care beds for children with swine flu predicted

A surge in swine flu cases over the winter months could lead to a shortage of intensive care beds for children, University of Cambridge researchers have warned.

Critical care capacity for children varies considerably by region
Critical care capacity for children varies considerably by region

The research team used a model developed by the US Centres for Disease Control to predict likely demand for critical care for the UK's current provision of 303 intensive care beds for children.

They assumed an attack rate of 30%, in line with the DoH and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recommendations; a minimum stay of five days in intensive care; and a pandemic lasting 12 weeks.

Their calculations showed that if the admission rate is 1%, around half of the UK's existing critical care capacity will be needed. If this rate reaches 2%, almost all the current capacity would be needed.

Furthermore, critical care capacity for children varies considerably by region, with areas such as Wales, the South East Coast, and the East of England likely to struggle to cope with increased demand, even at a 1% admission rate.

The researchers concluded: ‘It seems inevitable that paediatric intensive care units will experience significant additional pressure this winter from admissions due to the pandemic.'

GP Online recommends

Swine Flu resource centre

Read more

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Pension tax solution for judges shows government could do more for doctors, says BMA

Pension tax solution for judges shows government could do more for doctors, says BMA

Government plans to 'effectively exempt judges from pension tax' show the government...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

Second-phase COVID-19 vaccine rollout maintains prioritisation by age

Second-phase COVID-19 vaccine rollout maintains prioritisation by age

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has published advice on...

PCNs paid £70m for first-wave COVID-19 jab campaign as NHS plots next phase of rollout

PCNs paid £70m for first-wave COVID-19 jab campaign as NHS plots next phase of rollout

Primary care network (PCN) COVID-19 vaccination sites have been paid £70m this month...

London GP personally calling at-risk patients to boost COVID-19 vaccine uptake

London GP personally calling at-risk patients to boost COVID-19 vaccine uptake

London GP Dr Farzana Hussain is personally telephoning scores of patients who have...

Half of patients with possible cancer symptoms avoided contacting GP in first wave

Half of patients with possible cancer symptoms avoided contacting GP in first wave

Almost half of people who experienced potential cancer symptoms in the first wave...