ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The task force that came to help the UNM Children’s Hospital deal with a massive influx of pediatric respiratory cases is leaving. That’s because cases are starting to ease.

The team came in when the hospital was operating at 118% capacity. They’re now at a little under 100% capacity. The pediatric specialist team of 14 arrived on Saturday, December 31, and jumped right in to help staff who was burned out and overwhelmed.

“Make sure that patients continue to receive excellent care in the middle of this Tridempic. Our main goals were to make sure that they were safe patient ratios, that patients received timely care, and that there was no deviation from the standard of care,” said Paul Decerbo, NDMS team leader.

The big surge was a result of a number of respiratory viruses, especially RSV. There was also flu, COVID-19, and several other cold viruses that left younger patients sicker and a lot more of them. But things are looking better.

“Patients in the hospital is [sic] now down under a hundred – [a] little bit under 100% – which is good news. Also, when we look at the current activity of the three big viruses – the RSV, the influenza, and the COVID – those numbers have declined,” said Dr. Steve McLaughlin, Chief Medical Officer of UNMH.

The task force will be leaving Monday night; they were prepared to stay as long as two weeks. These types of teams also respond to natural disasters and also specialize in dealing with medicine shortages, which we’ve had here with this surge.