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Paediatric patients seen in 18 emergency departments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emerg Med J. 2020 Dec; 37(12):773-777.EM

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Public health mitigation strategies in British Columbia during the pandemic included stay-at-home orders and closure of non-essential services. While most primary physicians' offices were closed, hospitals prepared for a pandemic surge and emergency departments (EDs) stayed open to provide care for urgent needs. We sought to determine whether ED paediatric presentations prior and during the COVID-19 pandemic changed and review acuity compared with seasonal adjusted prior year.

METHODS

We analysed records from 18 EDs in British Columbia, Canada, serving 60% of the population. We included children 0-16 years old and excluded those with no recorded acuity or discharge disposition and those left without being seen by a physician. We compared prepandemic (before the first COVID-19 case), early pandemic (after first COVID-19 case) and peak pandemic (during public health emergency) periods as well as a similar time from the previous year.

RESULTS

A reduction of 57% and 70% in overall visits was recorded in the children's hospital ED and the general hospitals EDs, respectively. Average daily visits declined significantly during the peak-pandemic period (167.44±40.72) compared with prepandemic period (543.53±58.8). Admission rates increased mainly due to the decrease in the rate of visits with lower acuity. Children with complaints of 'fever' and 'gastrointestinal' symptoms had both the largest overall volume and per cent reduction in visits between peak-pandemic and prior year (79% and 74%, respectively).

CONCLUSION

Paediatric emergency medicine attendances were reduced to one-third of normal numbers during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown in British Columbia, Canada, with the reduction mainly seen in minor illnesses that do not usually require admission.

Authors+Show Affiliations

The Pediatric Research in Emergency Therapeutics (PRETx) Program, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada rgoldman@cw.bc.ca. BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.Department of Emergency Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Fraser Health, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Division of Allergy & Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Multicenter Study

Language

eng

PubMed ID

33127743

Citation

Goldman, Ran D., et al. "Paediatric Patients Seen in 18 Emergency Departments During the COVID-19 Pandemic." Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ, vol. 37, no. 12, 2020, pp. 773-777.
Goldman RD, Grafstein E, Barclay N, et al. Paediatric patients seen in 18 emergency departments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Emerg Med J. 2020;37(12):773-777.
Goldman, R. D., Grafstein, E., Barclay, N., Irvine, M. A., & Portales-Casamar, E. (2020). Paediatric patients seen in 18 emergency departments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ, 37(12), 773-777. https://doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2020-210273
Goldman RD, et al. Paediatric Patients Seen in 18 Emergency Departments During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Emerg Med J. 2020;37(12):773-777. PubMed PMID: 33127743.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Paediatric patients seen in 18 emergency departments during the COVID-19 pandemic. AU - Goldman,Ran D, AU - Grafstein,Eric, AU - Barclay,Neil, AU - Irvine,Michael A, AU - Portales-Casamar,Elodie, Y1 - 2020/10/29/ PY - 2020/06/30/received PY - 2020/09/30/revised PY - 2020/10/03/accepted PY - 2020/11/1/pubmed PY - 2020/12/2/medline PY - 2020/10/31/entrez KW - paediatric emergency med SP - 773 EP - 777 JF - Emergency medicine journal : EMJ JO - Emerg Med J VL - 37 IS - 12 N2 - BACKGROUND: Public health mitigation strategies in British Columbia during the pandemic included stay-at-home orders and closure of non-essential services. While most primary physicians' offices were closed, hospitals prepared for a pandemic surge and emergency departments (EDs) stayed open to provide care for urgent needs. We sought to determine whether ED paediatric presentations prior and during the COVID-19 pandemic changed and review acuity compared with seasonal adjusted prior year. METHODS: We analysed records from 18 EDs in British Columbia, Canada, serving 60% of the population. We included children 0-16 years old and excluded those with no recorded acuity or discharge disposition and those left without being seen by a physician. We compared prepandemic (before the first COVID-19 case), early pandemic (after first COVID-19 case) and peak pandemic (during public health emergency) periods as well as a similar time from the previous year. RESULTS: A reduction of 57% and 70% in overall visits was recorded in the children's hospital ED and the general hospitals EDs, respectively. Average daily visits declined significantly during the peak-pandemic period (167.44±40.72) compared with prepandemic period (543.53±58.8). Admission rates increased mainly due to the decrease in the rate of visits with lower acuity. Children with complaints of 'fever' and 'gastrointestinal' symptoms had both the largest overall volume and per cent reduction in visits between peak-pandemic and prior year (79% and 74%, respectively). CONCLUSION: Paediatric emergency medicine attendances were reduced to one-third of normal numbers during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown in British Columbia, Canada, with the reduction mainly seen in minor illnesses that do not usually require admission. SN - 1472-0213 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/33127743/Paediatric_patients_seen_in_18_emergency_departments_during_the_COVID_19_pandemic_ L2 - https://emj.bmj.com/lookup/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=33127743 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -