The number of children and adolescents with confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 at the Pequeno Príncipe Hospital has increased a lot at the beginning of the year. From January 1st to February 15th, there were 952 positive diagnoses. The total is equivalent to 73% of the cases registered throughout the year 2021, when 1,295 positive occurrences were accounted for. Hospitalizations have also grown. In just 45 days this year, 117 children and adolescents needed to be hospitalized, which represents 48% of all records for the entire previous year. And 19 children required ICU. Since the beginning of the pandemic, this has been the moment with the greatest impact of COVID-19 on the child and adolescent public.
The assistant technical director of the Pequeno Príncipe and infectious disease specialist Victor Horácio de Souza Costa Junior points out that some factors contributed to this surge in cases. Because of the holidays, families got together and relaxed with regard to care, such as social distancing, the use of masks, and constant hand hygiene. In addition, the omicron variant, which is much more transmissible, made contamination easier. “Since children were not yet vaccinated, they were the most vulnerable part of the population. These three factors combined caused this significant increase in cases. More than ever, it is necessary to vaccinate children to protect them,” reinforces the doctor.
This is the subject of the main article of the Pequeno Príncipe News’ first edition in 2022. Another subject is the fact that Pequeno Príncipe has reached a record in the number of transplants performed in 2021, the second year of the coronavirus pandemic. In all, there were 282 procedures, eight more than in 2019, when the institution registered its last record. Resumed in January 2020, liver transplantation was one of those responsible for the rise in numbers, with 23 procedures and a 97% survival rate. “The idea was double from one year to the next and keep the growth, because these are children who needed to seek for help outside the state where they live. And last year we received patients from the states of Acre and Mato Grosso, and the city of Brasília,” explains the head of the Liver Transplantation Service, Giovana Camargo de Almeida.
The third article of Pequeno Príncipe News is about the bioactive bandages created by scientists from the Pelé Pequeno Príncipe Research Institute, in a series of studies coordinated by PhD researcher Katherine Athayde Teixeira de Carvalho. Bioactive bandages are those which have biological and therapeutic properties, transporting cells, other cellular products or drugs. The first study of this line was conducted in partnership with the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR) and sought to develop a dressing that aids in the recovery of burn victims. “To improve the quality of healing in deep second-degree burns, we developed a new treatment in a pre-clinical model, using cellulose-based nanostructured membranes containing antifungal and antimicrobial drugs, seeded with mesenchymal stem cells,” she says.