Cleveland, OH,
10:58 AM

Dramatic Decrease in Preventative Pediatric Visits May Lead to Further Issues

Pediatricians at The MetroHealth System are seeing more than a 50 percent drop in child wellness visits

MetroHealth pediatricians have seen a significant decrease in the number of infants and children coming in for preventative visits and vaccinations and it’s raising concerns about children’s overall health.

Information from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that pediatric visits have dropped 60 percent across the country during this COVID-19 pandemic. At MetroHealth, we have noticed a similar decrease in childhood preventative visits.

“This is mostly because of families’ concerns about COVID-19 and parents worried about bringing their children to the doctors,” said Dr. Nazha Abughali, Chair of Pediatrics at MetroHealth. “We, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, want parents to know that avoiding getting necessary healthcare for your child may lead to an increase in vaccine preventable diseases and other health problems.”

According to the AAP, these are some of the issues that could arise if pediatric appointments are missed or delayed:

  • Mental health problems in children and teenagers such as depression and anxiety.
  • Flare-ups of certain chronic conditions like asthma, allergies and diabetes.
  • Lower rates of immunizations to preventable and highly contagious diseases such as Measles and whooping cough.
  • Delayed diagnoses of illnesses and developmental problems such as autism.

We are looking forward to seeing you and your children for a well child visit. Rest assured that MetroHealth is following all safety guidelines including wearing face masks, deep cleaning, checking temperatures, limiting visitors and social distancing in waiting areas.

If your child has a minor illness or other concerns, you might prefer to connect with your pediatrician by scheduling a telephone or video visit, both are widely available. MetroHealth is here for you and your child.

 Here’s how you can schedule a telehealth appointment.

About The MetroHealth System

The MetroHealth System, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, is honoring its commitment to create a healthier community by building a new hospital on its main campus in Cleveland. The building and the 25 acres of green space around it are catalyzing the revitalization of MetroHealth’s West Side neighborhood.

MetroHealth broke ground on its new hospital in 2019. The project is being financed with nearly $1 billion the system borrowed on its own credit after dramatically improving its finances. In the past five years, MetroHealth’s operating revenue has increased by 40% and its number of employees by 21%. Today, its staff of 8,000 provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals and health centers, 75% of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

The health system is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health.

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