Golisano Children’s Hospital over capacity, respiratory illnesses spike in Rochester


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Golisano Children’s Hospital has been exceeding full capacity for about a week now. It’s around 112% as of Sunday, according to the Dr. Patrick Brophy, Pediatric Chair at Golisano.

On Sunday morning, Dr. Brophy tweeted: “Today I woke up and our kids hospital was full — RSV, Para, Covid et cetera. Our folks are tired. Help us out. Get vaccinated.”

Dr. Brophy opened up to News 8 about how this has been a challenge to him and other staff.

“You have to decide some point in time when sources stretch thin, who gets care, I certainly don’t want to be in that position,” Dr. Brophy said.

He says it’s happening all across the country. Hospitals are seeing rising cases of influenzas and respiratory viruses they normally would see in the fall.

He says this is nothing like when COVID-19 first hit; the hospital was actually far from busy. Because of masking measures and social distancing, they weren’t seeing these seasonal viruses.

Now, illnesses like Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) are spiking.

“For many adults, it’s like a cold really bad cold, but in kids, small ones, like the neonatal population, it can be life threatening,” Dr. Brophy said.

And on top of it, the delta variant is highly contagious and spreading quickly among children.

“Kids don’t get admitted to the hospital unless they’re really symptomatic, kids are getting sick from this.”

He believes there is still more data to see the full effect of this variant, but it is affecting children. There are currently two children in the ICU with COVID-19, the number varying day to day, he says.

His message for the community, is to get vaccinated ahead of the new school year; especially as younger children are unable to receive it.

“The community responsibility is get the vaccine, its safe it’s effective,” he said.

Dr. Brophy says they’ve been able to flex with the space they’re working with, sometimes partnering patients up in rooms. He says they would never refuse care to anybody, they always find a way to help.

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