From Kimberly Chavalas Cripe, CHOC’s president and CEO:
Circulating respiratory viruses, a mounting flu season and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are causing emergency departments nationwide to see an influx of patients. Similarly, CHOC is seeing an extremely high number of patients in our emergency departments in Orange and Mission Viejo.
We understand how anxious and scared you and your children might get when faced with a trip to the emergency department. To help, here is some information about coming to the emergency department during this busy season:
- Be prepared to see full lobbies and waiting areas. Typically, the departments get busier as the day progresses.
- Please leave siblings and other family members at home. This will help ease crowding, and more importantly, keep well children from being exposed to sick ones. Also, this helps parents focus their attention on their sick or injured children.
- Patients are seen based on how sick or injured they are, not in the order they arrived at the emergency department. There are patients who arrive in ambulances and are admitted in an area beyond your view. Staff must treat the sickest first. If you’ve been waiting and are concerned your child’s condition is getting worse, please ask a nurse to reassess them.
- We know this can be difficult when a child is hungry or thirsty, but please delay giving food or drink to your child until they’ve been seen by a provider. A full stomach can delay procedures and the use of sedatives.
- Try to stay calm. Children can pick up on their parents’ fear and anxiety. Take deep breaths for your and your child’s sake.
To help you know what to expect in the emergency department, this guide provides an overview of the process, helpful videos, and a list of resources available at CHOC Hospital. The guide is also available in Spanish.
CHOC offers a wide range of medical care for children, including nurse hotlines and urgent care. This guide is designed to help parents navigate options for care. It also lists the locations of CHOC’s two pediatric emergency departments and its urgent care locations.
Thank you for your trust in CHOC. It’s our privilege to care for your family.