15.4.20 Paediatric Alert
There is a national concern regarding late presentations of sick children to hospital. Attached is useful advice from the LMC together and Healthier together with links to support parents who appear reluctant to contact primary care during the current pandemic for assessment.
It is really important for all healthcare professionals to appreciate that COVID-19 is extremely unlikely to cause severe illness in a child (data from China, Italy, UK) – most children exhibit very few or no symptoms when infected with SARS-COV2 so one cannot assume that an unwell child or a child with fever >5 days has COVID-19 and an alternative diagnosis must be considered. It is essential also that this message gets to parents and that if they have an unwell child they must continue to seek healthcare support.
Please read the attached and if possible send the SMS message to your patients who have children
In keeping with the national concerns, locally there has also been a significant drop in referrals to CAU and attendances at the paediatric emergency department. Whilst there has not been any issues with delayed presentations to date in PHT the concern is that there may be in the near future. The consultant advice line is still available for GPS as is advice and guidance, so please use. The message from the consultants is ‘if you would have sort input or asked secondary care to see a child 6 months ago, then you probably still should’. An example that was given on a regional call, was a child who had been scalded by tea, the burn wasn’t seen but advice was given for a gel net dressing and oral antibiotics. The pharmacy didn’t have any gel net so a normal bandage was used, the child presented 48 hours later unwell and the burn was significant and needed specialist input.
When triaging your calls please use video consultations where possible or review in surgery, either in a red hub or in a green hub as appropriate where further assessment is needed.