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ER Doctors Urge: Don’t Delay in an Emergency

During these days of the coronavirus pandemic, parents are avoiding the ER out of mistaken fear in contracting the virus; in an emergency, don’t wait!
Date: 19.04.20 | Update: 26.04.20

During these days of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a sharp reduction in the number of patients arriving at Schneider Children's ER, in comparison with the same period in past years. Avoiding the ER evolves from the fear that parents and patients might contract the virus, an understandable though mistaken fear, since the hospital and its staff are protected and corona patients are totally isolated from the other patients.


Emergency Medicine doctors emphasize that children should be brought to the ER immediately for assessment and treatment in the following instances:

  • Change in consciousness, lack of response to his name, or any pain

  • Difficulty in breathing, noisy breathing, cyanosis (blue color) on the face or body (when the body heat is high, the temperature must be lowered with appropriate analgesics)

  • Continued vomiting accompanied by a lack of urination for a long time

  • Temperature taken via the anus of 38 degrees or more in infants under 8 weeks-old

  • Temperature accompanied by a rash that does not disappear with pressure or stretching the skin

  • Strong and sharp headache accompanied by a change in behavior or vomiting

  • Sudden onset of strong pain in the testicles for more than 30 minutes, even while lying down

  • Injuries where there is suspicion of a fracture or dislocation, foreign bodies in the eye, head injuries with loss of consciousness, increasing headache and/or vomiting, ongoing bleeding despite applying local pressure for several minutes

  • Swallowed or inhaled foreign bodies or dangerous substances such as medications or cleaning materials

  • Snake or scorpion bite

  • Sudden allergic reaction accompanied by respiratory distress and/or difficulty breathing

Dr. Ron Berant, Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Schneider Children's, notes that "fear at this time is understandable, but it is important also to remember that we are not insulated against diseases or injuries which require swift attention, and any delay can lead to complications or even become a threat to life. Recently, we had a case of an 11-year-old girl who arrived at the ER with a perforated appendix after she had remained at home for 10 days because of the fear of coming to the ER. Delayed treatment in such a case can lead to tragic results. There is a complete separation in the ER between patients with respiratory syndromes or patients with suspected corona. Similarly, corona patients are hospitalized in designated corona departments away from other patients. I urge parents to bring their children to the ER to receive emergency care as always, and particularly during this crisis."

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