Global Health & Medicine 2022;4(4):242-246.
Adapting pediatric health care responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan: A clinical perspective
Yamanaka J, Takasago S, Horigome A, Hayashi M, Matsunashi S, Shioda S, Tanaka M, Seki J, Kaneshige M, Akamatsu T, Uryu H, Mochizuki S, Goishi K, Shichino H
The COVID-19 pandemic required our pediatric health care staff to adjust to many irregularities and solve serious issues in our routine clinical practice. In outpatient clinics, many children exhibited common cold symptoms that mimic COVID-19, thus we initially screened patients via an interview form, then later via SARS-CoV-2 antigen test. Cluster infections were entirely avoided by following systematic, everyday precautions. Patients’quality of life has been difficult to maintain during the pandemic, due to social and staffing restrictions. Other unexpected repercussions – such as an unexpected lack of seasonal virus infections, then a respiratory syncytial (RS) virus outbreak – required agile management of hospital resources. While we must continue to adapt our treatment programs in response to the evolving COVID-19 crisis, it remains essential to support the well-being of children through regular health check-ups, mental health support, educational opportunities, proper socialization, and close communication with parents and families.