COVID-19 disease in children presenting to the pediatric emergency department: A multicenter study with 8886 cases from Turkey

DUMAN M., ŞIK N., TEKŞAM Ö., Akca H., Kurt F., Caglar A. A., ...More

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE, vol.59, pp.133-140, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 59
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ajem.2022.06.015
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.133-140
  • Keywords: Children, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Infection, Pandemic
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background: The aim was to evaluate the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and radiologic data of children with SARS-CoV-2 positivity by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) together with treatment strategies and clinical out-comes and to evaluate cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) in this population.Methods: This was a multicenter retrospective observational cohort study performed in the pediatric emergency departments of 19 tertiary hospitals. From March 11, 2020, to May 31, 2021, children who were diagnosed with confirmed nasopharyngeal/tracheal specimen SARS-CoV-2 PCR positivity or positivity for serum-specific anti-bodies against SARS-CoV-2 were included. Demographics, presence of chronic illness, symptoms, history of con-tact with SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive individuals, laboratory and radiologic investigations, clinical severity, hospital admissions, and prognosis were recorded.Results: A total of 8886 cases were included. While 8799 (99.0%) cases resulted in a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 with PCR positivity, 87 (1.0%) patients were diagnosed with MIS-C. Among SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive patients, 51.0% were male and 8.5% had chronic illnesses. The median age was 11.6 years (IQR: 5.0-15.4) and 737 (8.4%) patients were aged <1 year. Of the patients, 15.5% were asymptomatic. The most common symptoms were fever (48.5%) and cough (30.7%) for all age groups. There was a decrease in the rate of fever as age increased (p < 0.001); the most common age group for this symptom was <1 year with the rate of 69.6%. There was known contact with a SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive individual in 67.3% of the cases, with household contacts in 71.3% of those cases. In terms of clinical severity, 83 (0.9%) patients were in the severe-critical group. There was hospital admission in 1269 (14.4%) cases, with 106 (1.2%) of those patients being admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Among patients with MIS-C, 60.9% were male and the median age was 6.4 years (IQR: 3.9-10.4). Twelve (13.7%) patients presented with shock. There was hospital admission in 89.7% of these cases, with 29.9% of the patients with MIS-C being admitted to the PICU.Conclusion: Most SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive patients presented with a mild clinical course. Although rare, MIS-C emerges as a serious consequence with frequent PICU admission. Further understanding of the characteristics of COVID-19 disease could provide insights and guide the development of therapeutic strategies for target groups.(c) 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.