Pediatr Emerg Care

. 2021 Oct 1;37(10):519-525.
doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000002538.
Diagnosis and Acute Management of COVID-19 and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children

Teresa B Kortz, Emilia Connolly, C Lee Cohen, Rebecca E Cook, Jennifer A Jonas 1 , Michael S Lipnick, Niranjan Kissoon



Most children with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection are asymptomatic or have mild disease. About 5% of infected children will develop severe or critical disease. Rapid identification and treatment are essential for children who are critically ill with signs and symptoms of respiratory failure, septic shock, and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. This article is intended for pediatricians, pediatric emergency physicians, and individuals involved in the emergency care of children. It reviews the current epidemiology of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in children, summarizes key aspects of clinical assessment including identification of high-risk patients and manifestations of severe disease, and provides an overview of COVID-19 management in the emergency department based on clinical severity.