Hospitals rise to challenge of respiratory illnesses

By Wang Xiaoyu | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-29 07:19
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Children receive treatment at the PLA Strategic Support Force's Characteristic Medical Center in Beijing. ZHU XINGXIN/CHINA DAILY

Every effort being made to handle surge in young patients

Despite crowded and noisy surroundings, kindergarten pupil Tiantian sat comfortably on a mat on Sunday, watching his favorite cartoon show on his grandmother's phone in a quiet corner on the second floor at Beijing Children's Hospital, little suspecting that he would spend the entire afternoon there.

On Friday, the 4-year-old developed a fever, and was given medication to reduce it. His grandmother, surnamed Sun, said that on Saturday night, Tiantian's temperature was very high again. "We thought that he should be checked by a professional pediatrician, and that he might need to be given fluids intravenously," she added.

At lunchtime on Sunday, a nurse at the hospital said that Tiantian was extremely low down on the waiting list and would not be treated until nightfall, adding that all such patients would be dealt with, no matter how late it was.

"At a special time like this, I guess all we can do is wait patiently and make him feel as comfortable as possible," Sun said, pointing to a duffle bag of Tiantian's stuffed toys, two drinking flasks and some cushions and blankets.

Parents in Beijing, Tianjin and a number of other areas have prepared themselves and their children for long waits at hospitals as China experiences rising numbers of respiratory illness cases driven by the overlapping circulation of different pathogens.

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