Volume of children and teens needing psychiatric care in the PED has doubled, and length of stay has gone from 5 to 17 hours.
Why does this matter?
Young people are not doing so well, in case you hadn't noticed. Pediatric and other EDs are overrun by suicidal teens. The causes are likely multifactorial, but the rise of social media seems to have made matters worse. If you sense that pediatric psych volumes have skyrocketed, you're not alone.
What's up with all these depressed teens - besides PED volume?
Comparing 2003-4 to 2013-4, volume of pediatric psychiatric patients has doubled from 1.1% of total visits to 2.2% and length of stay has gone from 5 hours to 17 hours. Most of the increase has been in the areas of children with depression and ADHD. Development of an adequate outpatient safety net for these patients seems to be a high priority.
Rising Clinical Burden of Psychiatric Visits on the Pediatric Emergency Department. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2018 Mar 28. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000001473. [Epub ahead of print]
Peer reviewed by Thomas Davis