Pediatric ER Visits Rise for Firearm Injuries, Drug Poisoning During Pandemic

February 22, 2022

Pediatric emergency visits generally declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, but rose sharply in certain categories, such as firearm injuries and drug poisoning, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among adolescents aged 12-17, ER visits rose for self-harm and eating disorders.

The impact of the pandemic on adults may be partly to blame for this. “Factors that affect health care providers, including unavailable or unpredictable childcare, illness, financial difficulties and mental health problems, may increase the vulnerability of children and adolescents,” the CDC report said.

The CDC examined information from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program for March 2020 through approximately the end of 2020, all of 2021, and the first month of January 2022. That information was compared with 2019 and evaluated by the total number of visits and diagnoses in three different age groups: up to 4 years, 5-11 and 12-17.

COVID-19 visits increased in all ages, but visits for other respiratory visits decreased.

Among children aged 4 and under, cannabis-related emergency room visits increased by 8 per week in 2020 and 15 visits per week in 2021, compared to 2019. For that age group, firearms-related visits increased by 3 per week in 2020 and 2 per week. week week in 2021, compared to 2019.

Among children aged 5 to 11, the number of marijuana-related visits increased by 4 per week in 2020 and 9 per week in 2021 compared to 2019. In 2021, emergency room visits increased by 2 per week for firearms injuries, 6 per week. week before suicide. damages, and 7 per week for drug poisonings, compared to 2019.

In children aged 12-17, ED visits for self-harm increased by 30 per week in 2020, 210 per week in 2021 and 207 in January 2022, compared to 2019. For drug poisoning, ED visits increased by 12 per week. 2020, 171 per week in 2021 and 178 per week in January 2022, compared to 2019. For eating disorders, ED 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 visited the emergency room. Compared to 2019, the total number of emergency room visits decreased by 51% in 2020, by 22% in 2021 and by 23% in January 2022.

“Healthcare providers and families should remain vigilant for potential indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including health problems due to delayed care, and increasing emotional stress and behavioral problems in children and adolescents,” the CDC said.

The report’s authors cited several limitations, including that the data analyzed may not represent the pediatric population nationally.

This post Pediatric ER Visits Rise for Firearm Injuries, Drug Poisoning During Pandemic

was original published at “https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20220222/pediatric-er-visits-rise-for-firearms-injuries-drug-poisonings-during-pandemic?src=RSS_PUBLIC”