Online Articles: Original ArticlesCOVID-19-Related Reduction in Emergency Health Care Utilization Among Febrile Pediatric Oncology PatientsKram, David E. MD, MCR*; Tooze, Janet A. PhD†; Russell, Thomas B. MD*; McLean, Thomas W. MD* Author Information *Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology †Department of Biostatistics and Data Science, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC The authors declare no conflict of interest. Reprints: David E. Kram, MD, MCR, 1 Medical Center Boulevard, Winston Salem, NC 27157 (e-mail: [email protected]). Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: April 2022 - Volume 44 - Issue 3 - p e649-e652 doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000002243 Buy Metrics Abstract The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has disrupted normal health care utilization patterns worldwide, including decreasing emergency department (ED) visits for various medical emergencies. We examined whether this pattern was present in febrile pediatric oncology patients. In this single-center cohort study, we conducted a retrospective chart review of ED visits of febrile pediatric oncology patients during the first 4 months of the global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and compared those data to the same time periods in the previous 2 years. During the first 5 months of the pandemic, 25 pediatric oncology patients with fever visited our ED; 65 children visited during the same time period in 2018; and 60 visited in 2019. Compared with 2018 and 2019, encounters for 2020 were decreased by 62% and 58%, respectively. A significantly higher percentage of febrile pediatric oncology patients (84%) were admitted to our hospital during the pandemic compared the previous years (58%). Of concern is the possibility that fear of exposure to coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) at our health care facility prompted caregivers of pediatric oncology patients to avoid seeking care for their child with fever. Consistent communication with families about the life-threatening nature of fever should be prioritized among pediatric oncology providers. Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.