Out-of-hospital deaths among children during COVID-19 pandemic: indicator of collateral damage?

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We aimed to investigate the out-of-hospital mortality, and the actual prevalence of COVID-19 in children requiring paediatric emergency department (ED) care for infectious symptoms. There were four emergency medical services (EMS) responses concerning children (age 0-15 years) leading to death on-scene in 2 months during the pandemic, and eight during the previous 12 months in the Helsinki University Hospital area, although the number of EMS missions decreased by 18%. The prevalence of COVID-19 in children contacting a paediatric ED for any infectious symptoms during the epidemic peak was only 2.7%.

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Authors: Heini Harve-Rytsälä, Laura Puhakka, Markku Kuisma, Mikael Kuitunen, Jelena Oulasvirta, Heli Salmi