Amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, another crisis bubbles just below the surface. Pediatric inpatient and ICU beds are at a critical level nationwide — capacity is strained to the brink as respiratory syncytial virus cases rise in parallel with a growing trend of pediatric hospital bed closures. From 2008–18, pediatric inpatient units across the country decreased by 19% as hospitals sought more lucrative services. In Massachusetts, children in need of an inpatient or ICU bed often wait an unacceptable length of time, or they are forced to seek care in neighboring states plagued by their own shortages.
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