PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Cases of the respiratory syncytial virus, better known as RSV, are still on the rise for hospitals across Portland. Some facilities, like Providence St. Vincent Medical Center’s pediatric units, are having to adjust their standards to better fit the growing number of hospitalizations.

According to Providence St. Vincent spokesperson Gary Walker, the Medical Center’s pediatric intensive care unit, pediatric unit and neonatal intensive care unit now operate under crisis care standards.

“Crisis capacity activation constitutes a significant adjustment to standards of care,” the Oregon Health Authority reports. “A crisis situation exists when critical care resources are severely
limited, the number of patients presenting for critical care exceeds capacity, and there is
no option to transfer to other critical care facilities.”

On Nov. 14, Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order that offered support to hospitals dealing with an influx of RSV cases. As of Wednesday, Nov. 23, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center’s pediatric units fit the local health authority’s criteria for a crisis situation.

“This step includes an interim crisis care tool from OHA to help hospitals make triage decisions and allocate scarce resources equitably,” Walker said. “However, at this time, we are not making triage care decisions. Instead, we are using the OHA guidance to maximize all of our resources, including staffing.”

The spokesperson added that the medical center could change staffing plans by modifying the nurse-to-patient ratios in the critical or acute care units, or by allocating patient care responsibilities to respiratory therapists instead of the registered nurses.

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center will continue to update the community on its RSV conditions.