11-month-old flown into Temple after Houston pediatrics experience high occupancy rates

HOUSTON/TEMPLE, Texas — An 11-month-old girl who contracted COVID-19 was flown to Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Hospital after Harris Health in Houston couldn’t find an empty bed at one of the children’s hospitals.

“I think the story of children and the Delta variant really has yet to be told,” said McLane Chief Information Officer Dr. Dominic Lucia. “We are a bit at the beginning. But what I can tell you, we see that many more children are infected.”

COVID-19 Delta Variant impacting San Angelo

A helicopter took her to McLane due to high bed occupancy, and Dr. Lucia says this could become a problem for them in the near future.

“What we’re only seeing because of the spread within the community, among the unvaccinated, we’re also seeing the pediatric population increase a little bit,” he said. “They haven’t used a significant portion of our pediatric ICU beds, but we’re seeing that potential increase with cases like Ava. And that’s a concern for all of us.”

After Ava arrived at McLane, she received respiratory support, but she has now been taken off the ventilator as she is starting to recover.

Although Dr. Lucia says the number of childhood cases is still low, there’s a chance they’ll rise as the Delta variant spreads — and those who can get the vaccine choose not to.

“Getting the vaccine is so important because what happens is that if the virus and the Delta variants and whatever other variants are to come, continues to spread rampant, the people who are not able to get the vaccine , like Ava, become vulnerable and more at risk,” said Dr. lucia. “And while children aren’t usually, almost as affected by COVID as adults, it certainly still happens.”

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