Based on patient volumes, respiratory treatments and staffing needs, the magnitude of the 2014 enterovirus D68 outbreak was much greater than previously estimated at a Colorado pediatric hospital, according to a recent research letter.

In their observational retrospective study, researchers observed resource utilization at Children’s Hospital Colorado during the outbreak that occurred from Aug 1 through Sept 30. According to results, both respiratory patient volumes and asthma medication use increased more than they anticipated:

  • Respiratory ED visits increased by 36%
  • Respiratory hospital admissions increased by 80%
  • Respiratory pediatric ICU admissions grew by 79%
  • Albuterol sulfate use increased by 86%
  • Steroid use increased by 72%
  • Second-line asthma medications increased by 101%
  • Respiratory equipment use and respiratory therapist demands increased significantly
    • Days spent on the ventilator (+27%)
    • Intermittent positive airway pressure therapy (+30%)
    • Administered inhaled medication doses (+54%) and
    • Respiratory therapist procedures for every hour worked (+70%).