International Children's Day is celebrated annually on June 1, but this year it was extra special in Shanghai as it coincided with Shanghai resuming work and production after some two months of lockdown after the COVID outbreak that began in March.
“For the past few months, Shanghai United Family Healthcare has stood firm on the front lines, combining multiple disciplines, online and offline channels, and teamwork to fight the 'epidemic' and to ensure the normal operation of medical services," says Lu Min, Director of Pediatrics at Shanghai United Family Hospital.
"It has been a difficult few months, but the team's ability to handle special issues and emergency cases, will lay a solid foundation for the next work of protecting children's health in the future.”
Executing simultaneously to “normalize epidemic prevention & control” and “resume work & production,” the Center for Children's Health will work holistically to develop and improve children's health and make every effort to "recover."
Collaboration Across Departments & Disciplines
During Special Periods, Accurate Diagnosis & Emergency Treatment for Children
In the middle of April, a 2-year-old child accidentally swallowed 23 magnetic spheres and was hospitalized at another hospital for two consecutive days. The X-rays showed that the foreign objects were not moving and were not being passed. When the other hospital was preparing for an abdominal bowel open surgery to remove the foreign bodies, the parents then urgently referred the child to UFH.
Shanghai United Family Hospital immediately formed a multidisciplinary team for this emergency consultation. The quickly assembled team included Surgeon, Dr. Wang Zhanshan; Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Dr. Su Lin; Internal Medicine Director, Dr. Huang Zhigang; Inpatient Pediatrician, Dr. Yuan Fang, and other medical staff.
After repeated and timely communication, the medical team decided not perform open surgery, but closely observed the child, and used a more conservative method using laxatives. But after some time it was found that five magnetic balls in the stomach had not passed and – with a risk of intestinal perforation from ingesting multiple magnetic balls of 10% – it was decided that they would be immediately removed by performing an endoscopy.
Finally, all the magnetic balls in the intestinal tract were successfully removed and the child was safe without performing aggressive surgery.
Infants ingesting foreign objects is not uncommon, but the timing of diagnosis and treatment can be challenging for pediatric teams due to the fluctuating epidemic policies.
Online & Offline Seamless Linkage
Adhere to Parallel Duties of Epidemic Prevention & Medical Services
Before the epidemic, Shanghai United Family had already opened an Internet Hospital. When the current situation occurred, outpatient and emergency services in some hospitals were suspended throughout the city, the lockdown time in communities were extended, and some patients with chronic diseases in communities could not receive their normal courses of care.
Online consultations in public welfare hospitals played a significant role in keeping up with the needed care of the community.
Currently, United Family Internet Hospital has 26 departments, among which more than 20 pediatricians provide medical consultations online. It is reported that United Family Hospitals in Pudong and Puxi have received more than 4,000 online consultations, about half of which are related to pediatrics.
As patient prescription demand increased due to lack of access to care, United Family Hospitals launched the Online Prescription & Medication Delivery service. This one-stop solution during the outbreak, especially for pediatric emergencies, assisted in coordinating care, medication delivery and emergency and green channel access to the hospitals.
Each department expert, hospital blood banks, surgery and pharmacies were on standby 24 hours a day.
In addition, the United Family Hospitals Pediatric Team also formed a team to deliver medications to patients in urgent need, speeding through the streets of Shanghai.
By May 30, Shanghai United Family Hospitals in Pudong and Puxi had delivered more than 800 medications to patients who used this critical line of service to meet their needs during this epidemic.
In addition, in order to provide evidence-based knowledge for thousands of families staying at home during the epidemic, Shanghai United Family Hospitals organized several online live broadcasts in both English and Chinese.
These online broadcasts covered key topics of health and wellness, child vaccinations, eye health and mental health guidance in the comfort of their own home as a distraction to the epidemic. In order to provide relevant information about children's health, users were also able to ask questions online for doctors to answer them live on broadcast, which has been highly appreciated by the viewers.
Take Care of Children's Developmental Growth
Continuous Pediatric Vaccination Service
"Since the initial COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, Shanghai United Family Hospitals has operated 24 hours a day, including emergency, inpatient and outpatient services for comprehensive disciplines, doing our best to provide life-saving and general health care for the Shanghai community," says Wan Lijun, Chief Medical Officer of Shanghai United Family Hospital and Clinics.
Not only was outpatient and inpatient services available, but the UFH Pediatric Vaccine Clinic was also open continuously during the outbreak. Based on active communication with the CDC, Shanghai United are making sure that they have sufficient stock of children's vaccines to ensure that school-age children can get their immunizations on time!
As we approach the resumption of work and production, Shanghai United Family Healthcare is offering special packages for childhood vaccinations to help protect your child's immunity.
Since March, due to the increasing demand for pediatric consultations and changing epidemic policies, and in order to provide medical services in a timely and efficient manner, a dedicated team of the medical professionals of Shanghai United Family Hospitals have chosen to separate from their families and stay on the front line even during these times of great stress.
For example, Dr. Tong Wei Chng, Deputy Medical Director & Director of Pediatrics at Shanghai United Family Pudong Hospital, for more than 60 consecutive days, led the pediatric medical team on the front-line, on-call, 24 hours a day, making every effort to meet the needs of every patient and protect the health of children.
Until now, more than 300 medical staff and 200 administrative and logistics staff of Shanghai United Family Hospitals have been working hard during this epidemic.
In summary, United Family Hospitals in Pudong and Puxi, have provided thousands of consultations, with full dedication and care, ensuring the quality of safety and service to patients, sparing no effort to meet the medical needs of the Shanghai community.
Shanghai United Family Children's Health Center
Specialized Development, One-Stop Service, To Create High-Quality Health Management
Since the opening of Shanghai United Family Hospital in 2004, they have set up a department of pediatrics, focusing on high-quality medical services for children.
From initial child health care, disease prevention and diagnosis, to the vigorous development of various sub-specialties, children's health management related services have become increasingly developed and matured. On this basis, Shanghai United Family officially launched the Center for Children's Health in December 2021.
In March of this year, despite the special difficulties of the epidemic, the Center for Children's Health still invited relevant partners to carry out the Shanghai United Family Hospital Center for Children's Health Promotion Meeting by Online Conference.
Eight experts in various fields of child health in different professional specialties, shared their respective disease prevention, diagnosis & treatment, development trend of immunization, common myths of common diseases and past experiences in children's sub-specialty fields in a multi-faceted approach.
As a medical institution certified by JCI (Joint Commission International), five consecutive times, Shanghai United Family Hospitals currently has more than 30 senior experts specializing in various fields of child health, integrating health examination, consultation, guidance, intervention and first aid.
Shanghai United Family Hospitals provide a full range of physical and psychological health management services for children and adolescents aged 0-16.