Delayed presentation of children to healthcare facilities due to Covid-19 lockdown, leading to severe complications

Yonatan Yeshayahu

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    3 Scopus citations


    During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the increasing fear of leaving home and entering hospitals, together with guidelines to the public from Israel s Ministry of Health recommending the use of telemedicine rather than physical visits to the doctor, led to delayed diagnoses of non-COVID-19-related medical conditions. This research letter presents a cluster of severe medical conditions that were delayed in diagnosis due to postponed presentation to healthcare facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ewing sarcoma, severe hemolytic anemia, endocarditis requiring surgery, and septic hip requiring surgery are some examples of cases we encountered with delayed diagnoses. This led to the appearance of a rather low burden of disease in the pediatric population during the pandemic, and pediatric hospitals and clinics experienced a very low volume of activity. Given the low burden of COVID-19 in children, and the well-defined separation between infected and non-infected areas within the hospitals, we should consider improving the guidelines and messages conveyed to the public regarding the importance of prompt medical assessment for other medical conditions, even during a pandemic, along with reassurance of the safety of entering medical facilities given the strict isolation procedures being observed. Conclusion: Medical associations should reconsider the messages being sent to the public during future outbreaks, and encourage medical assessment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0017
    JournalRambam Maimonides Medical Journal
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 1 Apr 2021


    • COVID-19
    • Children
    • Complications
    • Delayed diagnosis


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