Introduction: The North Lisbon University Hospital Center was activated for referral of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients on the 11th March 2020. The aim of this study is to describe the experience at the Department of Pediatrics in the approach and the clinical outcomes of infected children.
Material and Methods: A descriptive observational study was performed. Children and adolescents (0 to 18 years) with SARS-CoV-2 infection, diagnosed in the emergency room or admitted to the Department of Pediatrics between March 11th and June 18th, were included. Hospital records and Trace COVID-19 platform were reviewed and patient caregivers were interviewed to assess follow up.
Results: Among 103 diagnosed children, 83% had a known previous contact with an infected patient, 43% presented fever and 42% presented respiratory symptoms. Ten percent had risk factors and 21% were aged under one year old. Ten percent were hospitalised, one needing intensive care, with paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome. Blood tests were performed in 9% and chest radiograph in 7%. No children required ventilation, antiviral therapy or underwent thoracic computed tomography scan. Eight percent of children returned to the emergency room and one child was hospitalised. The clinical outcome is known in 101 patients and is favourable in all.
Discussion: Most children had an epidemiological link and little clinical repercussion, even during the first year of life. The expected mild severity in children justified the use of established clinical criteria and recommendations for similar conditions, regarding tests and hospitalizations. No antiviral treatments were given due to lack of evidence of its benefits.
Conclusion: This strategy contributed to a low consumption of hospital resources and proved safe in this series.
Full paper here (Portuguese only).