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Wait times reach 6 hours as Rady Children's ER is inundated with sick kids

The hospital says that they are seeing 400 patients a day, some waiting as long as six hours to be seen by the doctor.

SAN DIEGO — Over the last few days, Rady Children’s Hospital is seeing a spike in sick kids. The number of visits to the Emergency department has almost doubled in the past two weeks. This has caused the wait time to double as well. The hospital says if you are considering taking your child to the ER, you may have to wait up to six hours.

CBS 8 looked into the wait times on Monday afternoon. Around 5 p.m. the wait time was around an hour, but a few hours later at 8 p.m. the wait was up to four hours. As of 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the wait time was all the way up to 6+ hours. 

The rise in patients, combined with a strained staff forced the hospital to issue a warning on social media, letting people know about the higher than usual number of people needing care.

Doctors at Rady Children’s say that people’s immune systems nationwide are struggling after living in a COVID bubble for two years. With more people resuming normal activities, things like the flu and RSV are taking even the tiniest patients out of commission. The most common symptoms are runny nose, fever and shortness of breath.

The busy season for pediatric cases doesn’t typically start until late November, but the ER at Rady’s is already seeing 400 cases a day compared to the normal 200-300. A spokesperson for Rady’s said, “It’s a perfect storm right now, so we need to make sure we are using our resources appropriately and treat kids who are the sickest first and foremost.”

In addition to sicknesses, Rady’s has also seen a 300% increase in Behavioral Health calls since the start of COVID.

Doctors say the best way to avoid getting sick is wash your hands and stay home if you don’t feel well.

WATCH RELATED: Wait times, emergency room visits increasing at Rady Children's Hospital

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