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Pediatric Emergency Department Utilization and Coronavirus Disease in Daegu, Korea.
J Korean Med Sci. 2021 Jan 04; 36(1):e11.JK

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Limited data exist on children's utilization of the emergency department (ED) in the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Thus, we aimed to examine ED utilization among pediatric patients and the impact of COVID-19 in one large city affected by the outbreak.

METHODS

This retrospective study included data from six EDs in Daegu, Korea. We compared the demographic and clinical data of patients presenting to the ED during the COVID-19 pandemic (February 1st-June 30th 2020) with those of patients who visited the ED in this period during 2018 and 2019.

RESULTS

Fewer patients, particularly children visited the EDs during the study period in 2020 than those in the previous (2018/2019) year period: the number of adult patient decreased by 46.4% and children by 76.9%. Although the number of patients increased from the lowest point of the decrease in March 2020, the number of pediatric patients visiting the ED remained less than half (45.2%) in June 2020 compared with that of previous years. The proportion of patients with severe conditions increased in adults, infants, and school-aged children, and consequently resulted in increased ambulance use and higher hospitalization rates. Fewer infants and young children but more school-aged children visited the ED with febrile illnesses in 2020 than in 2018/2019.

CONCLUSION

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a substantial decrease in pediatric ED utilization. These findings can help reallocate human and material resources in the EDs during infectious disease outbreaks.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics, Yeungnam University School of Medicine, Yeungnam University Hospital, Daegu, Korea.Department of Pediatrics, Yeungnam University School of Medicine, Yeungnam University Hospital, Daegu, Korea.Department of Pediatrics, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Daegu Catholic University, Daegu, Korea.Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.Department of Pediatrics, Daegu Fatima Hospital, Korea.Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea. choejy@hanmail.net.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

33398945

Citation

Jang, Kyung Mi, et al. "Pediatric Emergency Department Utilization and Coronavirus Disease in Daegu, Korea." Journal of Korean Medical Science, vol. 36, no. 1, 2021, pp. e11.
Jang KM, Ahn JY, Choi HJ, et al. Pediatric Emergency Department Utilization and Coronavirus Disease in Daegu, Korea. J Korean Med Sci. 2021;36(1):e11.
Jang, K. M., Ahn, J. Y., Choi, H. J., Lee, S., Kim, D., Lee, D. W., & Choe, J. Y. (2021). Pediatric Emergency Department Utilization and Coronavirus Disease in Daegu, Korea. Journal of Korean Medical Science, 36(1), e11. https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2021.36.e11
Jang KM, et al. Pediatric Emergency Department Utilization and Coronavirus Disease in Daegu, Korea. J Korean Med Sci. 2021 Jan 4;36(1):e11. PubMed PMID: 33398945.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Pediatric Emergency Department Utilization and Coronavirus Disease in Daegu, Korea. AU - Jang,Kyung Mi, AU - Ahn,Ji Young, AU - Choi,Hee Joung, AU - Lee,Sukhee, AU - Kim,Dongsub, AU - Lee,Dong Won, AU - Choe,Jae Young, Y1 - 2021/01/04/ PY - 2020/10/05/received PY - 2020/12/13/accepted PY - 2021/1/5/entrez PY - 2021/1/6/pubmed PY - 2021/1/13/medline KW - COVID-19 KW - Children KW - Emergency Department KW - Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 SP - e11 EP - e11 JF - Journal of Korean medical science JO - J Korean Med Sci VL - 36 IS - 1 N2 - BACKGROUND: Limited data exist on children's utilization of the emergency department (ED) in the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Thus, we aimed to examine ED utilization among pediatric patients and the impact of COVID-19 in one large city affected by the outbreak. METHODS: This retrospective study included data from six EDs in Daegu, Korea. We compared the demographic and clinical data of patients presenting to the ED during the COVID-19 pandemic (February 1st-June 30th 2020) with those of patients who visited the ED in this period during 2018 and 2019. RESULTS: Fewer patients, particularly children visited the EDs during the study period in 2020 than those in the previous (2018/2019) year period: the number of adult patient decreased by 46.4% and children by 76.9%. Although the number of patients increased from the lowest point of the decrease in March 2020, the number of pediatric patients visiting the ED remained less than half (45.2%) in June 2020 compared with that of previous years. The proportion of patients with severe conditions increased in adults, infants, and school-aged children, and consequently resulted in increased ambulance use and higher hospitalization rates. Fewer infants and young children but more school-aged children visited the ED with febrile illnesses in 2020 than in 2018/2019. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a substantial decrease in pediatric ED utilization. These findings can help reallocate human and material resources in the EDs during infectious disease outbreaks. SN - 1598-6357 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/33398945/Pediatric_Emergency_Department_Utilization_and_Coronavirus_Disease_in_Daegu_Korea_ L2 - https://jkms.org/DOIx.php?id=10.3346/jkms.2021.36.e11 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -