The Children's Emergency is crowded everyday. However, many of the children are attended to for less serious medical conditions. When doctors and nurses have to deal with so many less serious cases, children with real emergencies may risk getting less immediate attention.
1. My child will be seen earlier if I bring him to the Children's Emergency for a flu or fever.
Fact: Our trained nurses will do an initial assessment/triage when the child arrives at the department. Children with life-threatening conditions will be attended to first at the Children's Emergency. Patients are NOT seen on a first-come-first-served basis. Children with minor and non life-threatening ailments may have to wait, sometimes for several hours.
2. Doctors at the Children's Emergency are better than the family or polyclinic doctors.
Fact: The Children's Emergency is run by a team of trained doctors. There is always a senior paediatric specialist on the floor to review more complex and difficult cases and attend and manage children with life-threatening conditions.We do not provide routine paediatric specialist consultations. Your polyclinic or family doctor are trained and qualified to treat common medical conditions in young children. Indeed, many of them were trained and have previously worked in KKH before! They can also refer your child to KKH if necessary.
3. The medicines prescribed at the Children's Emergency are more effective.
Fact:Medicines are prescribed according to the needs of the individual child. Medicines given for fever, flu or diarrhoea are similar to those available at the polyclinics and the family doctors.
4. My child needs an X-ray or other investigations, and it's easier to get these done at the Children's Emergency.
Fact: Many polyclinics or family doctors offer X-ray facilities and laboratory services for non-emergency conditions.
5. I bring my child to the Children's Emergency because it is open after office hours and on weekends and public holidays. I am not free otherwise.
Fact: It is during these periods that the Children's Emergency is most crowded. Waiting time is also the longest for less serious cases. It might therefore be better for your child to be seen by your family doctor first. Many clinics are open during weekends in the morning. One should know the nearest GP or polyclinic near your house which are open 24 hours or on weekends.
Minor ailments like the common cold, viral fever, mild gastroenteritis and minor injuries may be adequately treated by your family doctor. How high a fever is does not necessarily indicate the severity of an illness. One has to balance the duration of the fever with the other associated signs and symptoms in the febrile child as well as the age of the child. Learn how to control the fever to make your child more comfortable.
Your child may be treated by the family or polyclinic doctor if he is observed to be:
Other examples of non-emergency conditions which can be treated by the family doctor or referred to a specialist on a non-emergency basis include:
If your child has a non-emergency condition, see your family doctor or a doctor at the polyclinic. It is faster, cheaper and your child will still get the relevant treatment.
As the main caregiver, you know your child best. Decide if your child has an emergency or non-emergency condition and seek treatment at the right place.
KKH Urgent Paediatric Advice Line (UPAL) is a new pilot online service
available from 8.00am to 11.00pm daily for parents and caregivers to seek advice for common paediatric conditions (for children below the age of 17 years) such as fever, cough, diarrhoea, vomiting and common injuries.
For certain pre-existing or chronic medical conditions, it is not recommended to seek advice from KKH UPAL as your child may require more specialised care.
Upon registration, a specially trained and qualified nurse will first assess your child. The doctors in Children's Emergency will then attend to your child as soon as possible.
PRIORITY IS GIVEN TO CHILDREN WITH SERIOUS AND LIFE-THREATENING CONDITIONS.
An emergency is an illness or injury which could result in serious disability or death if it is not treated immediately.
Some emergency situations in infants and children which require prompt or immediate evaluation and treatment at the Children's Emergency include:
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