Article Text

Letter
Delayed access to care and late presentations in children during the COVID-19 pandemic: a snapshot survey of 4075 paediatricians in the UK and Ireland
  1. Richard M Lynn1,2,
  2. Jacob L Avis2,
  3. Simon Lenton2,
  4. Zahin Amin-Chowdhury3,
  5. Shamez N Ladhani2,3
  1. 1 Institute of Child Health, University College London Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, London, UK
  2. 2 BPSU, Royal College of Paediatrics, London, UK
  3. 3 Immunisation and Countermeasures Department, Public Health England Colindale, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shamez N Ladhani, Immunisation and Countermeasures Department, Public Health England Colindale, London NW9 5EQ, UK; shamez.ladhani{at}phe.gov.uk

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The UK has witnessed large reductions in children attending emergency departments (ED) and paediatric assessment units (PAU) during the COVID-19 pandemic,1 which began in late January and peaked in mid-April before declining.2 These reductions raised concerns about the late presentation of critical illness in children. To address this, the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit undertook a snapshot electronic survey on 24 April 2020 of 4075 paediatric consultants representing >90% of paediatric consultants in the UK and Ireland, asking whether, during the previous 14 days, they had seen any children who, in their opinion, presented later than they would have expected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (ie, delayed presentation).

Over the next 7 days, 2433 (60%) paediatricians responded. Overall, 241 (32%) of 752 paediatricians working in ED/PAU had witnessed delayed presentations, with 57 (8%) reporting ≥3 patients with delayed presentation. Delayed …

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