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Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland)
This study scrutinizes management and clinical presentation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in pediatric inpatient care and evaluates the utilization of pediatric healthcare capacity during the pandemic. Within this retrospective cohort study, we systematically reviewed data of all 16,785 pediatric patients (<18 years admitted to our clinical center between January 2018 and June 2021). Data on SARS-CoV-2 test numbers, hospital admissions and clinical characteristics of infected patients were collected. Since January 2020, a total of 2513 SARS-CoV-2 tests were performed. In total, 36 patients had a positive test result. In total, 25 out of 36 SARS-CoV-2 positive children showed at least mild clinical symptoms while 11 were asymptomatic. Most common clinical symptoms were fever (60%), cough (60%) and rhinitis (20%). In parallel with the rising slope of SARS-CoV-2 in spring and fall 2020, we observed a slight decrease in the number of patients admitted to the pediatric department while the median duration of hospital treatment and intensive care occupancy remained unchanged. This study underlines that SARS-CoV-2 infected children most frequently exhibit an asymptomatic or mild clinical course. Noteworthy, the number of hospital admissions went down during the pandemic. The health and economic consequences need to be discussed within health care society and politics.