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Nova Scotia children’s hospital sees historically high patient numbers

HALIFAX — The head of pediatrics at the largest children’s hospital in Atlantic Canada says Nova Scotia is seeing extremely high numbers of children sick with respiratory illnesses. 

Dr. Andrew Lynk said at a news conference today that Halifax’s children’s hospital IWK Health Centre is seeing patient numbers higher than he’s experienced in his more than 30-year career.

Lynk says normally 120 patients visiting the IWK emergency department in one shift would be considered very busy.

But these days, there are consistently between 150 and 180 patients each shift, and the department has seen as many as 200 sick children in one shift.

Lynk says this is the result of a “perfect storm” of COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus and influenza.

The pediatrician said the IWK is not alone, and in a meeting with his colleagues from all regions of the province, medical staff agree that acute care services for children are stretched thin.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press