Pediatric ER Visits Rise for Firearms Injuries, Drug Poisonings During Pandemic

February 22, 2022

Pediatric emergency room visits have declined overall during the COVID-19 pandemic but have risen sharply in specific categories such as gunshot injuries and drug poisoning. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention He speaks. Among adolescents aged 12-17, there has been an increase in emergency room visits for self-harm and eating disorders. The impact of the pandemic on adults may be partly to blame. “Factors affecting caregivers, including the lack of unpredictability of child care, illness, financial hardship, and mental health issues, may increase the vulnerability of children and adolescents,” the CDC said in a report.

The Centers for Disease Control reviewed information from National Syndromic Surveillance Program for March 2020 until around the end of 2020, all of 2021, and the first month of January 2022. This information was compared with 2019 and was estimated by the total number of visits and diagnoses among three different age groups: under 4 years old, 5 years old. -11 and 12-17.

Visits to patients with COVID-19 have increased across all age groups, but visits for other respiratory illnesses have declined.

Among children aged 4 years and younger, cannabis-related emergency room visits increased by 8 per week in 2020 and by 15 visits per week in 2021 compared to 2019. week in 2021 compared to 2019.

Among children aged 5-11, marijuana-related visits increased by 4 per week in 2020 and by 9 per week in 2021 compared to 2019. harm and 7 drug poisonings per week compared to 2019.

Among children aged 12-17, emergency room visits for self-harm increased by 30 per week in 2020, by 210 per week in 2021, and by 207 in January 2022 compared to 2019. Due to drug poisoning, emergency room visits increased by 12 per week in 2020. , 171 per week in 2021 and 178 per week in January 2022 compared to 2019. Due to eating disorders, ER visits increased by 9 per week in 2020 41 per week in 2021. and 38 per week in January 2022 compared to 2019.

But overall, fewer children attended the emergency room. Compared to 2019, total ambulance visits were down 51% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 23% in January 2022.

“Health care workers and families must remain vigilant about the possible indirect consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, including health conditions resulting from delayed care, as well as growing emotional stress and behavioral health problems in children and adolescents,” the CDC said in a statement.

The authors of the report pointed out several limitations, including that the data analyzed may not reflect the pediatric population at the national level.

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