Story by: Norton Children's Hospital on May 13, 2020
As Kentucky begins seeing cases of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, associated with COVID-19, Norton Children’s Hospital and the commonwealth of Kentucky are launching a pediatric COVID-19 helpline.
The helpline, (800) 722-5725, is open 24/7 to anyone in the state. Norton Children’s Hospital nurses and other medical providers will respond to syndrome-related questions and concerns from parents, offering advice and providing guidance on available resources. The hotline also is open for physicians to consult with other medical professionals about potential inflammatory syndrome and COVID-19 cases.
Norton Children’s Hospital is also launching a virtual hospital for COVID-19 pediatric patients. Medical professionals will reach out proactively to families of patients who have been diagnosed or are under investigation for the illness after they’ve left the hospital.
“As pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome and COVID-19 continue to evolve, Norton Children’s Hospital aims to serve as a resource for the entire commonwealth,” said Steven T. Hester, M.D., MBA, division president, provider operations, and system chief medical officer, Norton Healthcare. “We want to ensure that parents, physicians and the state know we’re here to support them.”
This week, Norton Children’s Hospital diagnosed two patients with pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19. Though rare, the syndrome can be associated with serious complications, including persistent fever, inflammation, and organ dysfunction, including heart issues. The syndrome can appear weeks after recovering from coronavirus disease, even if the child never exhibited COVID-19 symptoms.
The pediatric helpline is the latest COVID-19 helpline Norton Healthcare has launched with the state. The hospital and health care system worked with the state to create a general COVID-19 helpline through the Kentucky Poison Control Center. Norton Healthcare also launched a helpline for long-term care facilities across the state.
“This is an uncertain time for everyone, and we’re here to help,” Dr. Hester said. “We believe these efforts are a proactive step toward keeping our children safe.”