Have a child with the flu? Don't go to the ER, Montreal doctors say
Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, February 11, 2016 8:35AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 11, 2016 1:22PM EST
Doctors in Montreal are warning against taking flu-stricken children to the emergency room, as hospitals in the area deal with high volumes in the ER.
The Montreal Children's Hospital and Ste. Justine's Hospital say, with flu season at its peak and emergency rooms pushed well beyond their normal capacity, parents should make sure it's a true emergency before taking their children.
Both hospitals say they're seeing more than 300 patients per day, and as many as 340 on some days. That means patients could face emergency room wait times of up to 12 hours before receiving treatment.
"When we get above 250 patients, it's already a difficult situation," Dr. Antonio D'Angelo, chief of emergency at Ste. Justine's, told CTV Montreal. "When we're up to 300 and above, it's frankly a dangerous situation for the sicker patients in the emergency room."
Dr. Harley Eisman of the Montreal Children's Hospital said parents should treat children at home, if they show symptoms like fever, runny nose, cough, vomiting or diarrhea.
"If you think your child has a flu or virus, try to keep them at home," he said.
Eisman said it was "boring" at the ER over the holidays, but flu season has ramped up since then, and is now in full swing.
Dr. D'Angelo added that the current strain of the influenza virus is included in this year's flu vaccine.
"It's not too late to get vaccinated," he said.
With files from CTV Montreal