As health care providers, our focus is on providing patients safe, compassionate, high-quality care – whether related to COVID-19 or another condition. We’re here to pull you and your children through this crisis and each one after that.

I am the medical director of the Children’s Emergency Center at Northside Hospital Gwinnett, and recently, I’ve noticed a concerning trend. Many children are presenting with life-threatening illnesses that would have been diagnosed earlier had they sought immediate care.

Our group of specialized pediatric emergency providers is seeing so many children with serious non-COVID-19-related conditions. We have cared for children with brain infections, ruptured appendicitis, dehydration and breathing problems that could have been avoided if parents sought the appropriate care at the right time. These more severe conditions are likely the result of parents delaying care because of fear of contracting COVID-19.

However, even during a pandemic, it is not safe to delay care.

It is important for our community to know it is safe to seek care at the emergency department. Whether your child has suffered burns or traumatic, a painful injury like broken bones or cuts, you can seek treatment with our specialized pediatric unit.

Hospitals have always been a safe, sterile environment in which to receive care. During this pandemic, we have taken extra precautions to maintain clinical quality and safety while preventing the spread of COVID-19. Our group adheres to strict isolation, testing and screening policies. We wear the appropriate personal protective equipment at all times and require everyone who enters the hospital to wear a mask. We are also enforcing social distancing policies within the hospital to keep patients and providers safe.

The Children’s Emergency Center has been a trusted and highly regarded place to receive care for more than 20 years and remains a community resource for pediatric patients regionally. In the past two months, we have continued to treat children with seizures, infections, leukemia and many other serious and life-threatening illnesses.

We are here to care for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Until the next time you visit us, please stay safe and encourage your family to follow these simple guidelines to maintain your health and well-being:

♦ Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, the equivalent of singing the ABC song

♦ Disinfect surfaces regularly

♦ Exercise social distancing

♦ Wear a mask in public places

♦ Call 911 if you are experiencing an emergency

♦ Contact your doctor or visit the emergency room if you need care

♦ Remember it is unsafe to delay care

Your health is important. I, along with my team, am proud to serve you, your loved ones and the Gwinnett community.

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Dr. David Goo is board certified pediatric emergency medicine physician with Envision Healthcare. He currently practices at Children’s Emergency Center at Northside Hospital Gwinnett, where he has served as the medical director of the Children’s Emergency Center for the past seven years. He has provided emergency care to young patients and their families for more than 30 years.

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