At the Toulouse University Hospital Children’s Hospital, between 200 and 220 pediatric emergencies are recorded every day from Monday to Sunday. Epidemics, saturation of liberal cabinets, impossibility for certain families to advance costs: activity would be up to 70% higher.
Overwhelmed pediatric emergencies, weekdays and weekends, April and October. Outrageous according to doctors. In Toulouse, the children’s hospital currently has between 200 and 220 emergency visits per day. “It’s not normal, it’s 50 to 70% more than we should have. Normally during this time we have 135 visits on weekdays and 150 to 170 on weekends,” says Professor Isabelle Claudet, head of the children’s department at the University Hospital (CHU) in Toulouse.
“It’s been like this since September but as we were only talking about Covid we forgot the pediatric emergencies were underwater. The pressure has been very high for three weeks, especially during the consultations. Traumatology affects only 30% of the passages, 70% of the visits are medical and more than half fall under general medicine, ”continues the pediatrician, mentioning several factors. “There is indeed an epidemic pressure (a late influenza epidemic, still covid, respiratory viruses and gastroenteritis) that is also manifesting itself in adults and is therefore saturating the city’s medical offices. We also think that the financial aspect plays a role because we see families who obviously cannot afford the cost of counseling. And then, as always, there are people who exaggerate, who want immediate medical advice even though they have an appointment with their doctor, but in a timeframe that doesn’t seem reasonable to them.”
“If possible, consult the doctor treating you”
Unlike traditional winter periods, particularly in cases of bronchiolitis, this influx of consultations does not embolize hospital admissions. But the teams not spared by the epidemics are showing their exhaustion.
“Common sense should be used and the treating physician first if possible. But while the long-term care is supposed to start at 8 p.m. on weekdays and at 12 p.m. on Saturdays, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find medical practices that are open after work or on Saturday mornings. Today’s doctors no longer want to be a drudge and claim a family life, so we must put more arms into our services,” urges Professor Isabelle Claudet, who is impatiently awaiting the opening of the Medical Preparedness Center in Purpan, near the Children’s Hospital, announced for December 2021 and still postponed.