LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Rising cases of RSV in kids leave Sparrow’s Children Center without beds for patients.

“It can kill your kids and that’s the bad part,” Brenda Clark said.

Brenda Clark of metro Detroit knows firsthand the horrors of this virus.

Her 10-year-old granddaughter is on a ventilator after she caught the highly contagious respiratory virus.

“It’s very dangerous. People think oh it’s the flu, it’s nothing, it’s a cold,” she said.

Some health experts nationwide call it a healthcare crisis. Here in Lansing, Sparrow health officials said they are seeing 60 new cases of RSV every day which is almost double compared to this time last year.      

“We have been at capacity and had to turn away children from other institutions,” co-director of the University of Michigan Health at Sparrow Children’s Center, Dr. Steve Martin said.

Dr. Martin said it’s been an uphill battle trying to get pediatric beds for those in need.

“We are constantly turning over beds, we have patients come into the emergency department and they are unfortunately having to wait in the emergency department for a bed to open up.”

With only a handful of pediatric ICU beds available in hospitals throughout the state, officials say that families can find the right level of care at other sites besides the emergency room without having to wait for an open bed.

“If those signs are severe and very concerning to the family, by all means, they should come to the emergency department, that’s where they’re going to get the highest level of care. If the signs and symptoms are milder their best choice would be to contact their primary care physician and there are also urgent cares throughout the city that can also assist these children to see if they need a higher level of care,” Dr. Martin said.

According to Dr. Martin, frequent hand washing can help prevent you or your child from catching the virus and nasal suctioning and hydration can stop a trip to the hospital. He also said that vaccination against other viruses like the flu and COVID is the number one way to protect children as there is currently no vaccine for RSV.