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Vol. 24 - Num. 93

Original Papers

Usefulness of telemedicine in pediatric emergency care during the COVID-19 pandemic

Adrián García Rona, Eva Arias Vivasa, Carmen Martínez del Ríob, Rosa M.ª González Tobosoc, Deborah Forrester Zapatad, Patricia Fernández Garcíab, Marta Bote Gascóna

aUnidad de Neuropediatría. Instituto del Niño y del Adolescente. Hospital Clínico San Carlos. Madrid. España.
bServicio de Pediatría. Instituto del Niño y del Adolescente. Hospital Clínico San Carlos. Madrid. España.
cPediatra. CS Ciudad de los Periodistas. Madrid. España.
dPediatra. CS Guzmán el Bueno. Instituto del Niño y del Adolescente. Hospital Clínico San Carlos. Madrid. España.

Correspondence: A García. E-mail: drgarciaron@gmail.com

Reference of this article: García Ron A, Arias Vivas E, Martínez del Río C, González Toboso RM, Forrester Zapata D, Fernández García P, et al. Usefulness of telemedicine in pediatric emergency care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2022;24:23-9.

Published in Internet: 25-01-2022 - Visits: 1358

Abstract

Introduction: our healthcare system has undergone an unprecedented reorganization prioritizing the care of patients with COVID-19 symptoms. The use of telemedicine is presented as a useful alternative in the post-COVID era. The aim of the study was to assess the usefulness of the Twitter® messaging service as a telemedicine tool for the screening of urgent pathology.

Material and methods: descriptive, retrospective and transversal study of a telemedicine Program developed by a team of specialists in Pediatrics and its Specific Areas during the State of Alarm. Demographic data were collected, as well as the number and reasons for consultations according to signs, symptoms and their form of presentation (text, photo and/or video). The number of resolved consultations, referrals and the degree of satisfaction were analyzed.

Results: a total of 182 consultations were attended, mostly by women (71%), during the first weeks of the survey (70%). 100% text messages, accompanied in almost 1/3 of the cases by audiovisual material (27.2% photo, 4.6% video). The average age of the patients attended was 2.72+/- 2.74 and the main reasons for consultation: fever, exanthema and respiratory difficulty. 18.13% were related to COVID-19, and only 8.24% were referred.

Conclusions: although telemedicine cannot replace face-to-face assessment and there are still technical and legal limitations, our results suggest that it could be a promising alternative to improve access, reduce triage times, coordinate available resources, and decrease the risk of contagion and saturation of health facilities.

Keywords

COVID-19 Pandemic Telemedicine

 

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