Santa Maria Health Network Increases Support for Children with Respiratory Problems – Diario de Santa Maria

Photo: Marcelo Olivera (Diary)

In the waiting room of the Children’s Municipal Emergency Care (PAM), in the Patronato neighborhood, canine beautician Patricia dos Santos Silva, 21, was waiting for the care of her son Joachim, 5, who fell ill on Thursday. The child had fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and headache for four days.
Patricia was concerned that the diagnoses could be contaminated by the flu or even Covid-19, since Joachim fell ill before being vaccinated against both diseases. The case of Patricia and Joachim is one of 5,700 people assisted by WFP between March and April this year. Experts cited a return to school and even a sudden change in temperature as possible reasons for the increased demand for emergency rooms in the municipality.
Over the past two months, the number of visits to children with respiratory problems at the Emergency Care Unit (UPA 24h), part of the public health network, and at the Hospital da Brigada de Santa Maria (HBM / SM) has also increased. , Which also serves IPE-Saúde. High rates of demand for support are also registered in municipal private network organizations such as Unimed Santa Maria.

Public network

From March 1st to March 31st, PAM and UPA performed 3,815 pediatric emergency services in 24 hours. Of these, 2,685 occurred in PA and 1,130 in UPA. The number increased the following month, with the data assessed from 1 April to 30 April. In all, 5,054 services were provided in the children’s ward, 3,105 in PA and 1,949 in UPA. The Ruben Noel Emergency Room, located in the Tankredo Neves neighborhood, does not have its own child care wing. Cases are referred to PAM Infantile.

Patronato Palm

The Patronato Municipal Emergency Service provides emergency care for adults and children. According to Verônica Martins Camargo, PAM’s administrative coordinator, child attendance at the unit has increased since March, when more than 2,600 calls were made. Of these, 1,050, equivalent to 39%, had respiratory clinical status.
– These are respiratory diseases that we consider, including rhinitis, bronchiolitis, bronchopneumonia, asthma, laryngitis, tonsillitis and others – explained Veronica.
The number and percentage of total cases increased in April. In 3,105 cases, there were 1,451 children with respiratory problems, which matched 47%. However, Veronica commented that the situation did not create a sufficient hospitalization rate:
– Not so many hospitalized for this reason, but they are under 12 to 24 hour observation. If they do not improve, they are referred to the hospital network.

Check the numbers:


  • Total Pediatric Visits – 2,685
  • Call due to respiratory symptoms – 1,050 (39% total)


  • Total Pediatric Visits – 3,105
  • Call due to shortness of breath symptoms – 1,451 (47% of total)

Total attendance: 5,790


In the 24-hour Emergency Care Unit (UPA), rates for March and April also attract attention, but lower than in PAM. UPA Administrator Manuela Travisan said 1,130 pediatric visits were recorded in March, of which 235 were caused by syndromes or respiratory problems, representing a total of 21%. In April, the percentage was lower, but the number of visits increased, reaching 1,949, of which 355 were for respiratory infections (18%).
Manuela explains that referrals for this type of care rely on medical evaluation, which includes the possibility of even a child being hospitalized.
– The child is admitted to UPA, goes through a risk classification and is then referred to pediatric care. In some cases UPA requires hospitalization, even to improve response. In others, a hospital transfer is required. And we observe this for a number of reasons, which have arisen as a result of their return to school and the fact that children have been out of school for a long time and are now communicating again, “said Manuela.

Check the numbers:


  • Total Pediatric Visits – 1,130
  • Call due to respiratory symptoms – 235 (21% of total)


  • Total Pediatric Visits – 1949
  • Call due to respiratory symptoms – 355 (18% of total)

Services on personal networks also increase

In Santa Maria’s personal network, child support rates have also increased. In the emergency department of Unimed Santa Maria, a 140% increase in the number of cases was recorded between March and April. During the same period, 1,118 visits to the Hospital da Brigada Military were recorded, of which 46% were due to respiratory conditions.
Determined by the communications department of the Astrogildo de Azevedo Hospital Complex, the institution does not have a children’s branch in the emergency room. Diário contacted Santa Maria General Hospital (HGE) and received no response until this version was discontinued.


At Unimed, the demand for care shows growing. According to the organization, 1,843 pediatric visits were registered in the third month of 2022. The number rose to 2,581 in April, the equivalent of a 140% increase in two months.
Claudio Azevedo, technical director of the hospital Unimed and vice president of Unimed Santa Maria, confirmed that respiratory syndrome was the most common cause of death. In the current context, it is difficult to find professionals in the pediatric area of ​​the organization:
– Today we have two doctors present. Two pediatricians, and we always want a backup, because we can’t get a third doctor. We always try to help someone. But it is difficult, because at the time when you need it most, whether it is at night, the doctor is not available in his own office, at home or often, he is not available to come on duty. So it’s hard to close this equation. We have this problem.
Unimed Fabio Lopez Pedro’s adult and pediatrician, always guides families to seek out pediatricians at health centers and offices before going into an emergency.
Azevedo has already highlighted that there are other options to take care of.
– We provide video advice, which by downloading the application, parents will be able to talk to the pediatrician via video. Provides professional care and often solves a problem without going to the ER. Let’s make it clear that when a patient goes to the ED for a video consultation referral, he does not pay for this consultation, because during the video it is already paid and for 48 hours, he has disclosed this access – Azevedo explained.

Check number: *


  • Total Pediatric Visits – 1,843


  • Total Pediatric Visits – 2,581

Total attendance – 4,424

* Hospitals do not report how many of these are related to respiratory problems


Hospital da Brigada Militia de Santa Maria has an adult and a pediatric emergency room, the latter serving up to 15 years, as determined by the institution.
In March, 404 visits were made, according to the hospital’s press office. Of these, 42%, that is, 172 cases were caused by flu or respiratory symptoms. The number has been increasing since April due to high demand. In 714 cases, 367 of the respiratory tract, which corresponds to 51%.
In a note, HBMSM’s guidelines state that the increase in cases is related to living in a closed environment with climate change, the arrival of low temperatures and the return of the school year.

Check the numbers:


  • Total Pediatric Visits – 404
  • Advice for Respiratory Symptoms – 172 (42% of total)


  • Total Pediatric Visits – 714
  • Advice for Respiratory Symptoms – 367 (51% of total)

Total attendance – 1,118

Total consultation due to respiratory condition – 539 (46% total)

Returning to class may be the catalyst for an increase in the number of cases

Pediatrician Wilson Roberto Crivelaro Juchem follows the current situation where children’s health needs to be assessed. In terms of increasing pediatric emergency care, directly linked to the clinical condition of the respiratory tract, he lists some key factors for understanding the indicators. Although the duration of the year contributes, the most important thing for professionals is to return to class in person two years after the Kovid-19 epidemic:
– This year, perhaps, with the opening of the school for face-to-face activities, we will have many children who need to ‘reactivate’ their immune system and their immune system. This maturity, which should have happened naturally through school life two years ago, was hampered by social isolation and must be done now, because it is a feature of nature and there is no way to get rid of it.
Pediatricians try to calm parents or guardians about the high rates that appear in the fall and will probably continue in the winter.
– Medical science protects children from many situations through vaccines, but there are others, mainly viral, which will depend on the aggression of the system so that children can develop immunity naturally. Thus, what is happening with the viral infection, especially during this period, is the result of what is happening in the school context – explained the pediatrician.
For Juchem, taking care not to leave the house or keep warm is one of the reasons to consider the least resistance. He believes that schools and parents must work together to create and follow valuable guidelines for the safety of children.
– When it is discovered that a child is ill, it is advisable not to take him to school, because if he has made some agreement at school, then it is not reasonable for him to take the issue to other children, and they will agree to it. It depends on the school which should be recommended and mainly on the parents, that they will respect these recommendations and stay with their children when they are sick or do not have technical clearance from pediatricians – he concluded.

Aryan Lima –

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