Pediatric medical guard: what it is and how it works

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Catherine Le Nevez
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What to do if the child is sick when pharmacies and doctors / pediatric offices are closed? You can contact the Continuity Care Service, that is the former Medical Guard, which guarantees advice and help in case of urgent needs.

In this article

  • Continuity Care Service (former Medical Guard): how it works
  • When should I contact the pediatric medical guard?
  • Opening Hours

Continuity Care Service (former Medical Guard): how it works

The clinics and telephone operators of the Continuity Care Service, as well as the "old" Medical Guard, they provide medical assistance to the citizen during the holidays and in night hours, that is, when pharmacies and doctors' offices are closed. This means that for illness situations that cannot be postponed to the next day by contacting your doctor, anyone can use this service to receive help.

How does it work?

As a rule, it is recommended before going to the clinic in person contact an operator by telephone to receive a medical need assessment. The operator will ask

  • Details of who calls and, possibly, those who need assistance (children, in the case of the former pediatric medical guard).
  • Type of problem
  • Symptoms accused

It is very important to give clear information, without getting caught up in the anxiety of the moment, since this phase does not represent a waste of time: on the contrary, it allows the expert to have a complete picture of the situation. At the end of this short operation, the operator will put the requesting citizen in contact with the doctor at the reference station (based on the address provided).

The doctor can therefore limit himself to one telephone advice, invite to go to the clinic of Continuity Care or advise to go directly to the hospital. Should the situation require it, the doctor might as well activate the Emergency Service through the Single European Emergency Number (112).

Read also: When to choose the pediatrician?

When should I contact the pediatric medical guard?

The Pediatric Continuity Care service is aimed at children between the ages of 0 and 13. Those who use it are put in contact with a pediatrician who can help in the following cases:

  • Urgent need for prescriptions or administration of specific drugs;
  • Need for an urgent specialist visit;
  • Need for treatment that includes hospitalization (which will be arranged by the doctor on duty at the service).

The pediatrician of the former medical guard instead can not:

  • Providing nursing services unrelated to the medical examination;
  • Provide recipes for chronic therapies (therefore not linked to an actual emergency);
  • Issue certificates for sporting activities or for returning to school;
  • Giving stitches;
  • Prescribe diagnostic tests for specialist visits.
Also read: When to take your baby to the emergency room

Opening Hours

The Pediatric Continuity of Care covers the days and times when regular medical exercises are closed, with possible variations from region to region. In general the service is active from 8,00 to 19,00 on Saturdays and days before holidays; Sundays and holidays from 8,00 to 12,00.

On the days and times in which it is not active the Pediatric Continuity Care service, the Continuity Care service is in operation from 20.00 to 8.00 on weekdays, and from 8.00 to 20.00 and from 20.00 to 8.00 on days before holidays, holidays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Opening hours and days can still be consulted on reference ATS site.

  • children first aid
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