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GMH beefs up pediatric unit with one new doctor and four new recruits

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Guam Memorial Hospital has hired an additional pediatrician who will arrive on island in December, the hospital administration announced.

Hospital officials said four other pediatricians have accepted offers and are expected to join GMH soon.

The new recruits will join the three pediatricians currently on staff.

“GMH has been in the pediatric health service for many years, serving this island faithfully. We continue to prioritize that mission regardless of demand,” said Dr. Akua Agyeman, chief of pediatrics. "Our job is to provide excellent care to our patients and we are pleased to have been able to do so during this surge with no morbidity or mortality.”

The hospital made the announcement as it reported a higher-than-usual number of pediatric patients admitted to the hospital due to the current cold and flu season.

Agyeman said Guam has seen aggressive cases of human metapneumo, a viral infection that can cause severe pneumonia in children and rhinovirus, the most common viral infection leading to colds.

GMH’s Pediatric Unit was at maximum capacity over the weekend, prompting the need for additional beds.

The increased number of pediatric patients is also being experienced throughout the U.S.

The number of pediatric cases has been steadily decreasing, GMH said.

Some pediatric patients who have recovered from Covid-19 continue to experience respiratory issues that are affecting the seriousness of seasonal influenza. Patients with other underlying issues, like asthma and allergies, are also susceptible to more serious cases.

The hospital administration said all pediatric patients receive "excellent care" despite surges in the number of sick children.

GMH advises families with young children to stay vigilant and watch out for any difficulties in breathing and to take precautions against colds and flu. This includes eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables which are the best source of vitamin C.

According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamins C and D, zinc and Echinacea have evidence-based efficacy in support of the immune defense system.

GMH also encourages the public to get their flu shot if they are medically eligible.

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