John Misdary, MD, FACEP
FCEP Pediatric EM Committee Co-Chair
Pediatric psychiatric holds have been the norm for years in the emergency department (ED) with a shortage of pediatric beds nationwide. Unfortunately, the problem has only grown worse during the pandemic. With schools closed, routines disrupted, and parents anxious over lost income or uncertain futures, children are shouldering burdens that many were unequipped to bear. With the number of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, bed space is even scarcer for these patients. Most states are seeing upwards of a 400% increase in pediatric psychiatric holds. Kids’ mental health-related visits have climbed steadily since the start of the pandemic, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report. This has created a crisis of its own in pediatrics.