A unique tent is being used to treat children at Kosair Children's Hospital

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE)- It's never fun to be sick but for kids heading to the Emergency Room at Kosair Children's Hospital, get ready for an adventure.

A temporary tent is pitched just outside the ER to help with the overflow of sick kids this cold and flu season. Doctors aren't sure why there's such an increase over last year. In January, patient volume jumped 26%.

KCH Medical Director, Dr. Stephen Wright says "the tent's just an acute care facility. It'd be like going to your doctor's office and going in. You got a sore throat, or ear ache, you get that diagnosed, you get your prescription and you go home."

The tent is not being used for critically ill children. Those kids are processed through the ER as quickly as possible and then if an actual in-patient room isn't available, they find a nearby space to keep care concentrated to one area.

The tent is heated with 16 bays and beds. Staff have computers and needed medical equipment on hand to provide quick, appropriate care.

Dr. Wright says the tent prevents the need to spread patients and staff throughout the hospital, "it helps us consolidate our staff, our resources, our supplies. I then allows us to be more efficient in taking care of our patients, moving them through the emergency department much quicker than we ordinarily would."

Chief Nursing Officer, Cis Gruebble says wait times can be cut in half with the tent's addition, "it has been tremendous. Staff in a children's hospital will do whatever it takes to make sure kids in our community are cared for."