Coronavirus Updates from The Division of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat)

Updated December 16

As we navigate this challenging, stressful time together, we want you to know that we in the Division of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat) are here for you. Your child’s ongoing care is just as important now as it was before the pandemic began. 

We want to reassure you that we are confident that we can safely provide the care your child needs. The current surge in cases happening nationwide has not impacted our ability to care for your child.

We are open and safe, and currently seeing patients for all types of appointments. CHOP continues to take many precautions to support broader public health efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are monitoring the situation closely and adapting our policies as needed to ensure the continued safety of our patients, families and staff.

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. Here’s what you can expect when you come back to see us.

Telehealth video visits

The Division of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat) continues to utilize video visits when it is clinically safe and appropriate to do so. Please call us at 215-590-3440 so our team can speak with you to further discuss and evaluate. We will walk you through the set up process for a smooth 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.

Second opinions and new patients: The Division of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat) 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.

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 safety 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.

Read more about reduced entry for parents, caregivers and siblings, cleaning protocols, protective masks, and the many other 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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