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Swine Flu Concerns Bring More Patients To Children’s ER

Video
Video unavailable. Read transcript below.

Above: KPBS Reporter Tom Fudge explains the flu vaccine and how County Health Department officials are going to work with school districts to vaccinate children at school.

— The emergency room at Rady Children's Hospital has been busy in the last few days with parents scared their children might have swine flu. But doctors report many people are coming in needlessly.

The director of Rady’s emergency department says about 280 patients came in to the emergency room on Thursday. Dr. Ghazala Sharieff says normal for this time of year would be about 150 patients. She says about 120 of those kids had some flu symptoms, but none needed treatment from the hospital. Sharieff said parents should try giving their children over the counter medicine before bringing them in.

“But if you’ve given Tylenol or Motrin and they’re still just laying their lethargic or they’re very irritable. You can’t console them they don’t want you to hold them, they won’t stop crying, that’s a trigger to come to the emergency department,” she sid. “If they’re having difficulty breathing or they’ve turned blue around the lips, that’s another sign to come to the emergency department.”

Sharieff said a prolong fever that last more than five days is also a warning sign.

Audio

Aired 10/16/09

The emergency room at Rady Children's Hospital has been busy in the last few days with parents scared their children might have swine flu. But doctors report many people are coming in needlessly.

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