Coronavirus Updates from The Center for Pediatric Airway Disorders

Updated June 9

As we navigate this challenging, stressful time together, we want you to know that we in the Center for Pediatric Airway Disorders are here for you. There are many precautions we are taking to support broader public health efforts to reduce opportunities for spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are monitoring the situation closely and adapting our policies as needed to ensure the safety of our patients, families and staff.

We want to reassure you that we are confident that we can safely provide the care your child needs.

We will be updating our families regularly with key information. Read below for more details about the precautions in place to keep you, your children and our staff safe, and what to expect when you come back to see us.

Outpatient/In-person Clinic visits

At this time, our providers are scheduling in-person visits for essential appointments that we cannot effectively conduct through a telehealth platform. We are taking every precaution to make sure our in-person visits are safe and comfortable for all involved.  This will mean that we will be asking some extra questions about any symptoms or travel or exposure on the day before the visit. You will also notice some changes to our waiting rooms and common space to strictly adhere to safe, social distancing policies. Here’s what you can expect when you come back to see us

Telehealth video visits

The Center for Pediatric Airway Disorders is actively using video visits as an alternative to most in-person visits.  This technology ensures that social distancing does not affect your ability to receive the expert, collaborative care that your family deserves.  Video visits or telephone visits may be an option for both established and new patients. From the comfort of your own home, we are able to make or review treatment plans, answer any questions or concerns, complete all of the necessary paperwork for surgery and even include other members of the care team when a multi-disciplinary approach is required. Call us at 215-590-3440 and our team will schedule the visit and walk you through the simple technology set up to ensure your visit goes smoothly.

There are some patients who will need an in-person visit to ensure we have the all of the information we need to care for your child.  If a video visit is not appropriate for your specific situation, we will work with you to plan a safe, productive in-person visit.

Current patients: We are looking at every appointment and evaluating the best way to connect with you about your child’s care. We will contact you to discuss options for any upcoming appointments. In the meantime, we encourage you to sign in to your MyCHOP account to ensure you can successfully access your account. If you have questions, or need to sign up for MyCHOP, please call us at 215-590-3440.

Second opinions and new patients: The Center for Pediatric Airway Disorders continues to accept new patients and requests for second opinions. At this time, we may be able to offer telemedicine visits as our initial introduction to you and your child to be sure we reduce unnecessary exposures for your family. From that visit we will partner together what will be the next steps in your plan of care (an in-person visit, a procedure in the office, surgery or a future follow up). 

If you are seeking a second opinion or looking to refer a new patient, call us at 215-590-3440. Find instructions for getting set up for video visits with us.

We recommend that you check with your insurance carrier to see if telemedicine visits, telehealth visits, or video visits are a covered benefit under your plan as well as your financial responsibility for this visit.

Information to help prepare you for your telemedicine visit

Before the Visit

If you have a pediatrician outside the CHOP network, if you are able, please upload recent office visit letters or important information to MyCHOP. If your child has a tracheostomy tube or has an open stoma after decannulation, please take a photo of the stoma and upload it through MyCHOP prior to your visit so that we can review.

Day of the Visit

We recommend logging into your MyCHOP account on your phone or tablet approximately 20 minutes prior to appointment time and complete the Pre-Check In.

  • If your appointment will be with GI, Pulmonary, or Speech as well as ENT, then please select the ENT appointment to enter the visit. Don't worry, we will all be there for the visit.
  • Make sure your audio is on and the sound turned up so that you can hear us and we can hear you.
  • Please be in a well-lit room so that we may see you and your child clearly.
  • Have a flashlight and plastic spoon nearby so that we can attempt to see the back of the throat. (If possible, having a second adult is helpful to have around that time we need to look in the throat.) We will coach you through the exam.
  • We recommend uploading a photo of your child's throat through MyCHOP before your visit (we suggest using a flash light to capture the photo of the back of the mouth).
  • If your child is going to have their skin checked, such as a surgical site, during this visit, please have that area uncovered and ready to be shown.

During the Visit

You will first speak with a nurse practitioner to review medications, allergies, and answer some questions. The doctor will then join the call. Do not be alarmed if you see a few faces on the screen. We are a team, including you, in your child’s care.

We will then guide you during the physical exam on where to focus your camera. Then all together we will discuss our plan of care with you and answer any of your questions. An after-visit summary will then be sent to you via MyCHOP.

Elective surgeries/procedures/testing

The safety of our patients, families and staff is our top priority. As part of our efforts to reduce the risk of inadvertent exposure to COVID-19, CHOP has modified the way we schedule surgeries and procedures to minimize any exposure risks. Our waiting rooms, recovery areas, and arrival times have been carefully updated to minimize your exposure to anyone other than essential personnel.  

If your child requires surgery, we will require testing for COVID-19 to be done before undergoing the procedure.  Testing must occur no earlier than 48 hrs prior to the day of surgery (2 days before the surgery date) and needs to be done at a CHOP site with a referral from our care team.  We can work with you to make this testing as convenient as possible.  If your child is concerned about the test, we can contact Child Life to help them prepare in age appropriate ways or you can watch a video here.

Additional information during the COVID-19 pandemic

IMPORTANT REMINDER: If you or your child develops a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, contact your medical provider immediately. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your/your child’s symptoms. They will coordinate safe testing and treatment and get you the care you need.

Urgent Care and Emergencies

Our four pediatric urgent care locations remain open with regular hours. Urgent care video visits may be available as an option for families. Our Emergency Department (ED) is open. Please only visit our ED if your child is experiencing a true emergency.

Visitor Restrictions

Restricted visitation procedures are in place for all appointments and hospital visits. To keep our patients, families and staff safe from COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections, we ask you to reduce the number of parents or caregivers as much as possible to all CHOP sites. 

Our current COVID-19 restricted visitation policy is that no more than two healthy parents or caregivers (18 and over) are allowed to visit patients in the hospital or accompany patients to any appointment at a CHOP location. Per New Jersey regulation, only one caregiver may accompany your child at Specialty Care and Ambulatory Surgery Centers in Voorhees, May’s Landing (Atlantic County) and Princeton.

Parents and caregivers cannot be ill (must be without fever, cough or other concerning symptoms), nor have testing pending for COVID-19. Siblings are not permitted, with the exception of breastfeeding infants. These procedures are in place during this rapidly changing situation as the prevalence of COVID-19 continues to be in our community.

Protective masks

If you visit any CHOP facility at this time, you’ll notice that all employees are wearing protective masks. We are taking this extra precaution to prevent possible COVID-19 exposure between staff members. By staying healthy, we’ll be sure to be here when you need us.

Based on CDC recommendations for the public, CHOP now asks that all parents and caregivers visiting a CHOP facility wear a mask as an extra layer of protection. Upon arrival, parents and caregivers will be provided with a disposable mask along with a storage bag and instructions. We appreciate your support in wearing a mask to help keep everyone safe.

Read more about the many safety measures in place:

Helpful resources

Check out these additional resources to help you keep your family informed and healthy.

We know this is a challenging time and we thank you for your understanding and partnership in keeping our patients, families and staff safe.

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