Clogged hospitals prompt warnings from Minnesota doctors

The doctors walked a fine line in their messaging Monday, not wanting to discourage parents from bringing in children needing hospital-level care.

Parents should probably consult with their local pediatricians first, said Dr. Ashley Strobel, an emergency physician at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis, which hosted the news conference.

But she said parents should bring in children who are dehydrated (often exhibited by dry diapers), have fevers above 100.4 degrees for five or more days or are struggling to breathe so much that their ribs can be seen as they inhale or “their nostrils are flaring out and in, kind of like that bull that you see on cartoons, back in the day of Looney Tunes.”