Coronavirus Updates for the Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine

Updated April 15

As we navigate this challenging, stressful time together, we want you to know that we in the Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine 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. Please note this is a rapidly evolving situation. We will be updating our community regularly with key information.

Read below for more details about our current efforts to reduce the risk of inadvertent exposure to COVID-19:

Outpatient/clinic visits

To better prevent the risk of inadvertent exposure, we have temporarily reduced office hours. We are conducting many patient visits via telemedicine with excellent results and family satisfaction. If we need to cancel or reschedule your upcoming appointment, we will contact you directly to discuss options. Some appointments may be converted to a telephone or video consult. Read below for more details on these new telehealth options available to families.

At this time, our providers are only scheduling in-person visits for essential appointments and urgent care. Currently we are doing any in-person visits at the Main Campus in Philadelphia. If your child needs an in-person visit it may be with a different pulmonary provider than usual, but your usual provider will be in communication with the clinic day provider, as needed, to optimize your child’s care. Everyone entering our clinics will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19. If you need to come to CHOP, please review the information below.

Telehealth video visits

The Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine is actively using telehealth, including video visits, as an alternative to some in-person visits when it is clinically safe and appropriate to do so.

  • 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 215-590-3749.
  • New patients: If you are seeking a second opinion or a consultation with us, telehealth may be an option as well. Please check with your health plan to confirm that your insurance covers video visits. Call us at 215-590-3749 and our staff will assist you.

Resources and tip sheets: Find instructions for getting set up for video visits with us. Some of our patients will need imaging studies for their visit. If this is the case, our staff will contact you with instructions on how to upload radiology imaging for your telehealth visit.

Before your virtual visit please remember to:

  • Complete your pre-visit questionnaires in MyCHOP, if you are a new patient
  • Have any necessary equipment and supplies available for the visit (ie: CPAP equipment, mask, machine supplies, medications, inhalers and chambers)
  • If you have specific questions in planning for your visit, please reach out to us at 215-590-3749

Please note: Your child needs to be present on the virtual visit.

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 is working to reschedule elective surgeries and procedures (including Bronchoscopy, Pulmonary function tests, and Sleep Studies) that can safely be postponed until a later time. At this time, surgery and other procedures are only being offered to treat emergencies or conditions that should not wait several weeks. We are assessing scheduled operations and we will continue to re-evaluate when we can resume elective surgeries. If your child requires surgery, please note that they will be tested for COVID-19 before undergoing the procedure. Testing 1-2 days before the scheduled procedure is recommended and can be done at a CHOP site with a referral from your care team.

Second opinions and new patients

The Division continues to accept new patients and requests for second opinions at this time. Depending on the specific problem, the consultation could be in person, or through telemedicine, as medically appropriate. Most often, we will do an initial telemedicine visit to be sure we reduce unnecessary exposures for you and your child. If you’re seeking a second opinion or looking to refer a new patient, call us at 215-590-3749.

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 are also now available as an option for families in PA and NJ. Our Emergency Department 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 Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia 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. 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 increase in our community. 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.

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.

Helpful resources

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