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ER visits double at Driscoll Children's Hospital

Flu and RSV season came early in 2022 but doctors said families are bringing their kids in with symptoms that don’t necessarily require them to go to the ER
Posted at 6:34 PM, Oct 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-11 19:34:25-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Doctors at Driscoll Children’s Hospital said the number of children visiting their emergency room has doubled since July.

“We usually have patients in the room within an hour or they’re in and out of there within a couple of hours, but that’s not the case right now,” Dr. Mary Dale Peterson said.

Peterson is the executive vice president and chief operations officer of Driscoll Health System.

“We want to apologize in advance to everybody listening for the long wait times,” Peterson said.

She said flu and RSV season came early in 2022.

“We’re trying really hard and doing the best we can to see all the kids out there that need to be seen. But we are asking for your help,” Peterson said.

Peterson added families are bringing their kids in with symptoms that don’t necessarily require them to go to the ER but, rather, urgent care.

In September, 896 kids came in with just a fever.

“The older children with a fever, those that have vaccines and are above three months of age, you can treat the fever,” pediatrician, Dr. Ernest Buck said. “You don’t need to rush to the ER You can, please call your primary care doctor before you rush to the ER”

You should take your children to the ER if you have or are:

  • Infant under three months with fever (>100.4 F.)
  • Allergic reaction with trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Repeated yellow vomitus in a child under 6 months
  • Deep, serious laceration.
  • Injury with deformity
  • Limp, joint swelling with fever
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sudden severe headache with altered mental status
  • Abdominal pain with fever
  • Significant amount of blood in urine, stool or vomitus
  • Significant difficulty breathing—with or without fever
  • Asthma exacerbation unresponsive to rescue medication
  • First seizure or prolonged seizure of more than 5 minutes
  • Accidental Ingestion—call poison control and follow their direction
  • Testicular tenderness

Doctor Peterson recommended families get up top date on their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations.