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J Korean Med Sci ; 37(1): e13, 2022 Jan 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606050


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is generally asymptomatic or mild in otherwise healthy children, however, severe cases may occur. In this study, we report the clinical characteristics of children classified as critical COVID-19 in Korea to provide further insights into risk factors and management in children. METHODS: This study was a retrospective case series of children < 18 years of age classified as critical COVID-19. Cases were identified by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency surveillance system and medical records were reviewed. Critical COVID-19 was defined as cases with severe illness requiring noninvasive (high flow nasal cannula, continuous positive airway pressure, or bilevel positive airway pressure) or invasive mechanical ventilation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) or continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), between January 20, 2020 and October 7, 2021. RESULTS: Among 39,146 cases diagnosed with COVID-19 in subjects < 18 years of age, eight cases (0.02%) were identified as critical COVID-19. The median age was 13 years (range 10 month-17 years) and male-to-female ratio was 1:1. Three children had underlying diseases; one child has asthma and major depressive disorder, one child had Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and one child had mental retardation and was newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus with the diagnosis of COVID-19. Among the eight children, seven were obese (body mass index range [BMI] median 29.3, range 25.9-38.2, weight-for-length > 97% for infant) and one was overweight (BMI 21.3). All patients had fever, six patients had dyspnea or cough and other accompanied symptoms included sore throat, headache, lethargy and myalgia. Radiologic findings showed pneumonia within 1-8 days after symptom onset. Pneumonia progressed in these children for 2-6 days and was improved within 5-32 days after diagnosis. Among the eight critical cases, remdesivir was administered in six cases. Steroids were provided for all cases. Inotropics were administered in one case. Six cases were treated with noninvasive mechanical ventilator and three required mechanical ventilator. One case required ECMO due to acute respiratory distress syndrome. All cases were admitted to the intensive care unit and admission period ranged from 9-39 days. Among all critical COVID-19 cases < 18 years of age, there were no fatal cases. CONCLUSION: To develop appropriate policies for children in the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to monitor and assess the clinical burden in this population.

COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Child, Preschool , Critical Care , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index
J Korean Med Sci ; 36(42): e295, 2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497009


BACKGROUND: To minimize nosocomial infection against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), most hospitals conduct a prescreening process to evaluate the patient or guardian of any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or exposure to a COVID-19 patient at entrances of hospital buildings. In our hospital, we have implemented a two-level prescreening process in the outpatient clinic: an initial prescreening process at the entrance of the outpatient clinic (PPEO) and a second prescreening process is repeated in each department. If any symptoms or epidemiological history are identified at the second level, an emergency code is announced through the hospital's address system. The patient is then guided outside through a designated aisle. In this study, we analyze the cases missed in the PPEO that caused the emergency code to be applied. METHODS: All cases reported from March 2020 to April 2021 were analyzed retrospectively. We calculated the incidence of cases missed by the PPEO per 1,000 outpatients and compared the incidence between first-time hospital visitors and those visiting for the second time or more; morning and afternoon office hours; and days of the week. RESULTS: During the study period, the emergency code was applied to 449 cases missed by the PPEO. Among those cases, 20.7% were reported in otorhinolaryngology, followed by 11.6% in gastroenterology, 5.8% in urology, and 5.8% in dermatology. Fever was the most common symptom (59.9%), followed by cough (19.8%). The incidence of cases per 1,000 outpatients was significantly higher among first-time visitors than among those visiting for the second time or more (1.77 [confidence interval (CI), 1.44-2.10] vs. 0.59 [CI, 0.52-0.65], respectively) (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Fever was the most common symptom missed by the PPEO, and otorhinolaryngology and gastroenterology most frequently reported missed cases. Cases missed by the PPEO were more likely to occur among first-time visitors than returning visitors. The results obtained from this study can provide insights or recommendations to other healthcare facilities in operating prescreening processes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ambulatory Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cough/etiology , Fever/etiology , Mass Screening/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ambulatory Care , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Female , Humans , Incidence , Infection Control , Male , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Young Adult
J Infect Public Health ; 14(4): 454-460, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1056924


BACKGROUND: During the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, hospitals have strengthened their guidelines on infection prevention and control (IPC), and a rigorous adherence to these guidelines is crucial. An infection control surveillance-working group (ICS-WG) and infection control coordinators (ICCs) team were created to monitor the IPC practices of the healthcare workers (HCWs) in a regional hospital in Korea. This study analyzed the surveillance results and aimed to identify what IPC practices needed improvement. METHODS: During phase 1 (March to April 2020), the ICS-WG performed random audits, recorded incidences of improper IPC practices, and provided advice to the violators. During phase 2 (April to July), the ICCs inspected the hospital units and proposed practical ideas about IPC. The surveillance and proposals targeted the following practices: patient screening, usage of personal protective equipment (PPE), hand and respiratory hygiene, equipment reprocessing, environmental cleaning, management of medical waste, and social distancing. RESULTS: In phase 1, of the 127 violations observed, most (32.3%) corresponded to hand and respiratory hygiene. In phase 2, the highest proportion of violation per category was observed in the management of medical waste (37.8%); among these, a higher proportion of violation (71.4%) was observed in the collection of medical waste. Of the 106 proposals made by the ICCs, the most addressed practice was patient screening (28.3%). No case of nosocomial infection was reported during the study period. CONCLUSION: Adherence to proper hand and respiratory hygiene was inadequate at the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results indicate that more attention and further training are needed for the management of medical waste, particularly medical waste collection, and that continuous upgrading of the strategies for patient screening is essential. These results will be useful in helping other healthcare facilities to establish their IPC strategies.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel , Infection Control , Clinical Audit , Hand Hygiene , Humans , Pandemics , Republic of Korea