Children's Hospital E.R. nearing record visits

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - East Tennessee Children's Hospital's emergency room has been swamped with sick kids for the last couple of months, nearly enough to set an all-time record.

November saw 7,500 kids, just 200 shy of the record in September 2009, the year of H1N1. Right now, around 300 kids walk through the doors every day.

Jill Ridenour brought in her daughter NeVeah after worrying she might have the flu.

"We've had two people test positive in my house for the flu, so she's um... yeah to get her checked," said Ridenour.

They had to wait about an hour to see a doctor.

"It was a little bit longer than I wanted, but doesn't matter," said Ridenour.

Thankfully for NeVeah, it wasn't the flu. Her doctor said it was probably just one of several viruses they've seen recently.

"It's been a lot of respiratory ilnesses which we usually see this time of year and influenza's come around a little early this year. So I think that on top of the respiratory stuff has been hitting the area pretty hard," said Dr. Carder.

And with high traffic slowing down the workforce and adding to the weight time, doctors say come only if you need to.

"Certainly when children are having trouble breathing or are unable to keep down liquids or vomiting or diarrhea," said Dr. John Carder.

Check out the links below for more information from ETCH.

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