Virginia Pediatric and Adolescent Center
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What should I do if I need to speak to a doctor after hours?

Our physicians are pleased to be able to offer 24-hour telephone support to our patients.  During regular business hours we have proficient, highly qualified pediatric nurses available to answer your questions.  Nights and weekends the calls are covered by one of the providers in the group.  There is a $15 charge for the use of this after-hours service.


The American Academy of Pediatrics has a helpful website that can aid parents in discerning whether to call for advice, go to the emergency department, etc.  Please see the link at the end of this page. 


The Virginia Pediatric & Adolescent Center after-hours advice availability is intended for urgent questions only.  Situations which should always generate a call are:


            Newborn (Less than 12 weeks old):

Ø     Any temperature greater than 100.4

Ø     Persistent vomiting for greater than 6 hours

Ø     Irritability or uncontrollable crying

Ø     Refusing to eat for 3 consecutive feedings

Ø     Excessive drowsiness


            Infant and Toddler:

Ø     Wheezing or difficulty breathing

Ø     Uncontrollable vomiting for greater than 8 hours


Situations that might generate a call:

Ø     Injuries

Ø    Fever greater than 103 that has not responded after an hour of appropriate fever medication


Have a pharmacy phone number available in the event the physician needs to call in a prescription.  Our telephone number is 703-569-8400.  When leaving a message for the physician, please state your child's name, age, any chronic medical conditions, immunization status (particularly if your child is not fully vaccinated), and the reason for your call.  As the telephone prompt directs you, messages are checked hourly.  If your question is urgent and cannot wait up to an hour until messages are checked, please hit #5 at the end of your message.


Routine advice questions should be directed to the advice nurse during regular business hours.  Questions about constipation, toilet training, sleeping problems, feeding issues, behavioral concerns, or refill requests for medication are not appropriate for after-hours calls.



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