Coronavirus: Pandemic hits sick kids hospital journeys – leaked e mail

147
Parent with sleeping childImage copyright Getty Images

Concerns have been raised by a senior official within the NHS that kids with diseases unrelated to Covid-19 are going to hospital too late and coming to hurt in consequence, a leaked e mail seen by BBC Newsnight says.

The attainable causes for the late presentation embody normal recommendation given about Covid-19; affected person entry to NHS 111, and parental concern about bringing kids to hospital in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

The feedback by the National Clinical Director for Children and Young People in NHS England emerged on the identical day as figures confirmed A&E attendance numbers have been down 29% from the identical time final yr.

NHS England and the Department for Health and Social Care stated folks ought to all the time come ahead for pressing care.

They added that folks with severe considerations in regards to the well being of their little one ought to use the web NHS 111 service or name 999 for an emergency.

Ambulance ‘too busy’

The e mail, dated 31 March, detailed a number of instances from one a part of the UK. The kids described have been aged from 10 years outdated down to only six months.

In one case, a mom reported that she was ready to be spoken to on NHS 111 for greater than 60 minutes whereas her little one “arrested” – medical terminology for the guts or respiration stopping. The little one subsequently died.

In one other case referred to within the e mail, a mom says she was informed the ambulance service was too busy while her little one was “semi conscious and vomiting”.

And one other set of oldsters have been reported to not have taken their unwell little one to hospital for 5 days as they believed there was “risk in hospitals of Covid-19”. The little one additionally died.

The e mail made it clear that this proof was finally anecdotal.

Image copyright Getty Images

Dr Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, stated that kids coming to medical doctors with signs much like Covid-19 have been “more likely to have a non-Covid condition”.

Dr Richard Brown, a advisor paediatrician at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, stated there had been “recurrent themes” like ruptured appendixes, extreme sepsis in younger kids who had not come to hospital as quickly as they need to.

He added that it was not simply amongst kids that they have been seeing a drop in folks coming to hunt medical care.

“The kinds of things we’d expect to see in general practice that we’re concerned we might not be seeing would be early presentation of cancer type symptoms, for example, which we’d usually recognise and refer rapidly for assessment.”

Anecdotally, fewer sufferers than medical doctors anticipate are coming to them with coronary heart issues and strokes. Some medical doctors have informed Newsnight they’re preserving notes on sufferers who might have obtained suboptimal care as a result of sources have been diverted elsewhere.

On Thursday, the medical director for NHS England Stephen Powis inspired folks needing emergency care – together with these with sick kids – to hunt out care “just as you always have done” – and the interim Chief Medical Officer of Scotland stated that elements of the well being service have been “eerily quiet”.

Experts say they suppose there will be a spike in all trigger mortality – deaths for all completely different causes not simply Covid-19. This has been flagged as a possible downside in opinions of earlier outbreak together with the 2009 swine flu pandemic

“We know that in previous pandemics both overseas and in the UK when they’ve hit mortality from other conditions has gone up,” Dr Marshall stated including: “In the flu crisis 10 years ago in the UK we saw a higher mortality rate for heart attacks and strokes.”

All medical doctors Newsnight spoke to, in addition to the federal government, urged folks to hunt medical assist in the event that they wanted it.

“The important message that I want to get across today is that children who are seriously ill should present to their emergency department. We can keep children safe and will continue to do so if we receive these referrals,” Dr Brown stated.