Flu season has arrived, and it has come with a vengeance as Ipswich Hospital’s paediatric emergency department staff work hard to keep up with the increase in number of respiratory related presentations.
Paediatric Emergency Physician, Dr Samantha Fairless, said her team was seeing a large increase in children presenting with influenza A and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
“Patient safety is our number one priority as we work attend to all patient presentations, but those most sick are prioritised to be seen first,” Dr Fairless said.
“With respiratory presentations, our main goal is to focus on hydration, monitor breathing patterns and administer Panadol and Nurofen to reduce fevers to a manageable level. I urge any parents who are monitoring their children closely at home to do the same.”
Dr Fairless encourages all West Moreton residents to get their flu vaccination to protect themselves and the community.
Usually only free for the most vulnerable cohorts, the flu vaccine will be offered to all Queenslanders over 6 months of age for free, until 30 June 2022 as a means of protection.
You can get your flu vaccine at a pharmacy or at your local GP. West Moreton Health facilities do not offer the vaccine.
Despite being busy, the emergency departments at Ipswich, Gatton, Esk, Boonah and Laidley hospitals remain open for those who need emergency medical care.
Dr Fairless advises that, when bringing your child to ED, come prepared with snacks and books or toys to make the wait more comfortable.
The West Moreton region also has three GP-led specialist respiratory clinics that see patients by appointment only: Health Matters Karalee, Kambu Booval, and Flinders Peak Medical Centre Respiratory Clinic. Visit their websites for more information.
If you are not sure if you or your child requires emergency care, call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for advice. You can also use the online symptom checker at: healthdirect.gov.au/symptom-checker
The Court Street Fever Clinic behind Ipswich Hospital is open daily between 8.30am – 4 pm. The clinic is closed each day between noon and 1pm. No bookings or referrals are needed.
Croup, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza and COVID-19 all present similar symptoms. The signs to look out for include:
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle aches