‘Your child will wait for another child to die.’ Amid Covid-19 surge, Dallas County has no pediatric ICU beds left, county judge says

January 11, 2021, Dallas, Texas: Dallas County TX Judge Clay Jenkins speaks to the media at the opening at the first mega-vaccination center in Dallas County TX at Fair Park in Dallas TX...The site is a joint effort between the city and county, will vaccinate up to 2,000 people a day, depending upon supply. The site opened as Texas shifts from smaller distribution sites to ???hubs??? that can vaccinate thousands a day...Standing behind the Judge in the post-shot monitoring center is Dallas Mayor ERIC JOHNSON (l) and ROCKY VAZ, manager of the city's Office of Emergency Management (Credit Image: ? Avi Adelman/ZUMA Wire)

By Carma Hassan and Christina Maxouris, CNN

(CNN)Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are surging and in Dallas County, Texas, there are “zero ICU beds left for children,” county judge Clay Jenkins said in a news conference Friday morning.”That means if your child’s in a car wreck, if your child has a congenital heart defect or something and needs an ICU bed, or more likely if they have Covid and need an ICU bed, we don’t have one. Your child will wait for another child to die,” Jenkins said. “Your child will just not get on the ventilator, your child will be CareFlighted to Temple or Oklahoma City or wherever we can find them a bed, but they won’t be getting one here unless one clears.”The judge added no ICU beds have been available for children for at least 24 hours. The Texas Department of State Health Services told CNN the shortage of pediatric ICU beds is related to a shortage in medical staff.

‘Use 911 sparingly.’ Local officials in Florida and Tennessee warn ambulance and emergency services are overworked due to Covid-19 surge“Hospitals are licensed for a specific number of beds and most hospitals regularly staff fewer beds than they are licensed for. They can’t use beds that aren’t staffed. With the increase in COVID cases, hospitals are experiencing a shortage of people to staff the beds that they are licensed for,” department spokesperson Lara Anton said in an email, adding that staffing agencies in the state are working on recruiting medical surge staff from across the US.

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