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

Professor Dame Clare Gerada elected RCGP president

Professor Dame Clare Gerada elected RCGP president

London GP Professor Dame Clare Gerada will become the new president of the RCGP,...

GPs lead COVID-19 vaccine drive as jabs stall in younger adults

GPs lead COVID-19 vaccine drive as jabs stall in younger adults

GPs have urged young people to come forward for COVID-19 vaccination with jab uptake...

GPs leading PCNs report heavy workload and limited impact from ARRS

GPs leading PCNs report heavy workload and limited impact from ARRS

PCN clinical directors are facing burnout and struggling to develop their networks...

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...

RCGP online exhibition celebrates women in general practice

RCGP online exhibition celebrates women in general practice

An online exhibition celebrating women’s contribution to general practice over the...

MPs back campaign against reforms that 'threaten fairness of fitness to practise cases'

MPs back campaign against reforms that 'threaten fairness of fitness to practise cases'

Plans to scrap the 'five-year rule' and categorise doctors with health concerns as...