In a recent reportA research team led by the CDC found that less than half of the emergency departments in US hospitals have clear policies for treating children with behavioral problems. According to psychiatrists, it can take at least a few days to observe a patient to reach the root of a complex behavioral problem. Also, many emergency departments do not have the expertise, dedicated space, or offsite resources to get the job done.
For Jean, his son’s diagnosis was complicated. Since then, he has developed irritable bowel syndrome. “He was losing weight and started smoking cannabis because of boredom,” Jean said. “This is all due to anxiety.”
The National Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio has a decent size emergency department for a pediatric hospital that can accommodate 62 children or adolescents. However, long before the arrival of the coronavirus, the department was tense to deal with the increasing number of patients with behavioral problems.
“This was a big problem before the pandemic,” said Dr. David Axelson, director of psychiatry and behavioral health at the hospital. “We were increasingly visiting the emergency department because of mental health problems in our children, especially because of suicidal ideation and self-harm. Our emergency department was overwhelmed by it and waited for the psychobed. During that time, I had to put the children in the medical unit. “
Last March, Nationwide Children’s opened a new pavilion to deal with congestion. This is a 9-storey facility with 54 private beds for observation and long-term stays for people with mental illness. It relieved pressure from the hospital’s normal emergency department and significantly improved care, Dr. Axelson said.
Dr. Axelson said it’s hard to imagine what would have happened without an additional devoted behavior clinic in this pandemic year, when hospitalizations for mental health problems increased by about 15% year-on-year.
Other out-of-state hospitals often call in hopes of putting patients in jeopardy, but simply don’t have enough space. “We have to say no,” said Dr. Axelson.
For some teens, it was a year of anxiety and a trip to the ER
Source link For some teens, it was a year of anxiety and a trip to the ER