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Baby with COVID-19 sent to hospital 150 miles away due to lack of bed space in Houston

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An 11-month-old baby with COVID-19 in Houston was transported 150 miles away due to lack of available hospital beds, ABC 13 reported Friday.

The baby girl, infected with the delta variant, had to be airlifted to Temple, Texas, after no pediatric hospitals in Houston said they could accept a transfer patient. 

“We have many patients, many patients every day,” said Patricia Darnauer, an administrator at Houston-based Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. “We are back beyond our pre-pandemic volumes at LBJ.”

The girl was wheeled to an airplane after suffering multiple side effects of the delta variant and will receive treatment at Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Medical Center, ABC confirmed. 

“She needed to be intubated immediately because she was having seizures,” said Darnauer, according to the news outlet. “We looked at all five major pediatric hospital groups and none [had beds] available.”

Dr. Christina Propst, who has advocated for masks, vaccines and social distancing since the beginning of the pandemic, said hospitals in the city are incredibly crowded and urged parents to vaccinate their children if eligible. 

“The emergency rooms at the major children’s hospitals here in Houston, the largest medical center in the world, are extremely crowded,” said Propst. “They are filling, if not full, as are the hospitals and intensive care units.”

She added that children should be wearing masks in school.

“If children are not masking in schools, it will be a major problem,” she told ABC.

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