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Doctors: Don’t go to ER for COVID test

Sparrow seeing more kids in ER for COVID tests
Sparrow's pediatric ER is seeing people who don't need to be there.
Sparrow's pediatric ER is seeing people who don't need to be there.(WILX)
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 5:17 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The pandemic has more children showing up in the emergency room, overwhelming hospital staff.

But Sparrow Hospital said most of the kids they’re seeing in the ER don’t need to be there.

Doctors said more kids coming to the ER to get tested for COVID-19.

They said it’s happening a lot more now that kids are back in school.

“These kids aren’t really sick, but the parents are concerned enough that they want them tested for COVID,” said Kathy Marble, Sparrow Pediatric Services Director. “Their symptoms are congestion, cough, fever.”

Many school districts in mid-Michigan reported at least one COVID case in their classrooms days after the new year started.

Parents are taking their kids to Sparrow’s pediatric ER just to see if they have the virus.

Marble said that takes resources away from those who need them.

“They are taking a bed or a spot away from a child who really does need to be seen in the ED and then perhaps be moved to the inpatient side of the hospital,” said Marble.

Parents who didn’t want to speak with News 10 on camera said that’s frustrating for when their kids do need to see a doctor right away.

Marble said parents looking to have their child tested for COVID should take their kids to other testing locations, like an urgent care of the drive-through lab at Frandor.

“We want to make sure the kids that need to be in our emergency department, are here because they really need to be,” said Marble.

Marble said they are seeing more kids who need to the ER.

Wednesday, 11% of the kids admitted to Sparrow have COVID. All of them were younger than 12 and not eligible for any vaccine.

“We did see periods of time where we did not see children with COVID at all in the hospital. Kids were in the summer, no school,” said Marble.

ER doctors said if you’re not sure if you should take your child to get a COVID test or go to the hospital, contact your child’s pediatrician.

McLaren Greater Lansing and Henry Ford Allegiance Health told News 10 they are also seeing more kids with COVID and COVID-like symptoms visit their emergency rooms.

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