San Antonio pediatric doctors see influx of patient visits amid COVID-19 concerns

SAN ANTONIO Pediatricians in San Antonio say concerns about COVID-19 and children returning to class have led to an increase in doctor visits, although children are not getting sicker.

While children are not sicker, more children are sick, according to Dr. John Fitch, with Heritage Pediatrics in Alamo Heights. He says his office averages 15-20 visits a day. Those numbers have almost risen to 20-30 in recent weeks.

“There was more illness going back to school. Now everyone is just sharing it,” Fitch said. “The good news is that kids still don’t get really, really sick (with COVID-19).”

For the most part, Fitch says kids have a cold, but they should still be tested for COVID-19 as part of the documentation required by some school districts. The coordination of this and visits to the parking lot takes a lot of time and personnel, he says.

dr. Leslie Wilson, of Little Spurs Pediatrics Urgent Care, says her office has been so busy. They have had to change their business model to include every walk-in patient.

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“We’ve never turned down a patient in our history, but unfortunately we couldn’t meet patient demand a few weeks ago,” Wilson said, with some having to wait up to two hours to be seen.

Clinics average 50 patients in the summer. They are up to about 100 patients per day in a 12 hour period. Telemedicine is also available to them.

The best thing doctors recommend is to try to keep your sick child hydrated. If traditional pain and fever-reducing medicine isn’t working and you’re concerned, call your pediatrician. Most have a guard duty.

If you are trying to see someone in an urgent pediatric clinic, try to book online early in the morning to ensure an appointment.

Doctors are pushing for hand-washing protocols and wearing masks, and say those 12 and older should get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Pediatricians are now bracing for the fall and flu season, potentially bringing in more patients.

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