« Back to Blog

Should I Visit the ER During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Posted on April 6, 2020

Pediatricians warn that visiting the emergency room during the coronavirus outbreak could be dangerous for children, according to an article in Romper, a digital parenting magazine. While it’s tempting to head to the ER if your child is sick, there is a greater chance of contracting a viral or bacterial infection while you are waiting in the triage or exam rooms.

Open 24/7, emergency rooms are visited by 100 million Americans annually, according to a recent study in the Journal of Rural Health. Yet 71 percent of those visits could have been handled in primary care or Urgent Care, reported another study by Truven Health Analytics.

Importantly, despite “robust infection control procedures,” hospital environments may pose a risk. The American Journal of Infection Control studied four hospitals and found pathogens on the floor surfaces, including MRSA (22 percent), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (33 percent) and C. difficile (72 percent). In addition, the study found 24 percent of frequently touched objects contaminated with more than one pathogen. There are no statistics yet on COVID-19 pathogens in emergency rooms.

According to the article, pediatricians are urging parents to consider an ER visit only in true emergencies, such as allergic reactions, difficulty breathing or broken bones.

If you suspect that you or a loved one suffered injury in in a Philadelphia hospital due to negligence, you may wish to discuss the details with a Philadelphia attorney experienced in handling emergency room injury cases. Contact us to help outline your legal options.