WEDNESDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) — Regular outpatient care has not kept children and teenagers with mental health issues and behavioral problems from making repeat visits to the emergency room (ER), according to a new study.
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Researchers from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center found that more often than not, children who repeatedly end up in the ER do not actually have life-threatening emergencies.
The study, published in the June 1 issue of Psychiatric Services, examined the medical records of more than 2,900 children, ranging in age from 3 to 17 years, who were treated at the center’s ER for mental health crises over the course of eight years. The analysis revealed that 12 percent of these children had a repeat trip to the ER within six months of their first visit.
The researchers also found that most of the children went to the ER seeking medical attention for behavioral problems or minor psychiatric problems, such as disruptive classroom behavior, verbal disputes and running away. Only 3 percent of the visits involved severe psychotic episodes and 10 percent were suicide attempts, the study authors noted…..