ER visits spike at East Tennessee Children's Hospital

ER visits spike at East Tennessee Children's Hospital

Posted:
Four-year-old Trinity recently visited the emergency department waiting room with her parents, Carly Beasley and Lugi Recarte. Four-year-old Trinity recently visited the emergency department waiting room with her parents, Carly Beasley and Lugi Recarte.
"If the child is 103 or 104, but they seem to be acting okay, they're breathing okay, they're taking in fluids alright, it's perfectly fine to wait and see your doctor," said Dr. Ryan Redmond. "If the child is 103 or 104, but they seem to be acting okay, they're breathing okay, they're taking in fluids alright, it's perfectly fine to wait and see your doctor," said Dr. Ryan Redmond.

By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The month of October was the busiest on record at Children's Hospital's Emergency Department, with 6,400 visits.

Five thousand is the norm on any given month.

But even November is shaping up for 7,000 visits.

Dr. Ryan Redmond said the high numbers are not unexpected. He blames it on fever from non-flu viruses, something parents should keep an eye on before heading to the Emergency Room.

"If the child is 103 or 104, but they seem to be acting okay, they're breathing okay, they're taking in fluids alright, it's perfectly fine to wait and see your doctor. If you're having any problems breathing, if you're having issues with dehydration or things that just don't feel right as a parent, that's a good reason to come to a specialty hospital," Dr. Redmond explained.

At home, Dr. Redmond said the best way to deal with fever is to take basic comfort care measures.

"Tylenol or ibuprofen to bring fever down, not because the fever's going to be harmful but it makes kids more comfortable. Also push a lot of fluids, keep an eye on those bigger picture items," he said.

Allergies and asthma are also a problem right now, and the weather is still nice enough that trauma, like broken bones and lacerations, are still keeping the ER busy.

Four-year-old Trinity recently visited the emergency department waiting room with her parents, Carly Beasley and Lugi Recarte.

They didn't think she had a virus. They believed her stomach pain was from something else.

"By the way she's acting, it's not appendicitis. Maybe kidney stones, probably, maybe because it comes in spurts of pain," said Beasley while she waited, along with hundreds of others.

Dr. Redmond said the main concern with large patient volume is having enough room.

Extra capacity is built in to the normal flow in the emergency department, he said, to handle the ebb and flow of childhood illness.

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