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The performance of EMS triage (RETTS-P) and the agreement between the field assessment and final hospital diagnosis: a prospective observational study among children <16 years.
Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4139-6235
Health Metrics Unit, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg.
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2019 (English)In: BMC Pediatrics, ISSN 1471-2431, E-ISSN 1471-2431, Vol. 19, no 500, article id 31842832Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

The rapid triage and treatment system for paediatrics (RETTS-p) has been used by the emergency medical services (EMS) in the west of Sweden since 2014. The performance of the RETTS-p in the pre-hospital setting and the agreement between the EMS nurse’s field assessment and the hospital diagnosis is unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of the RETTS-p in the EMS and the agreement between the EMS field assessment and the hospital diagnosis.

Methods

A prospective observational study was conducted among 454 patients < 16 years of age who were assessed and transported to the PED. Two instruments were used for comparison: 1) Classification of an emergent patient according to predefined criteria as compared to the RETTS-p and 2) Agreement between the EMS nurse’s field assessment and the hospital diagnosis.

Results

Among all children, 11% were identified as having vital signs associated with an increased risk of death and 7% were diagnosed in hospital with a potentially life-threatening condition. Of the children triaged with RETTS-p (85.9%), 149 of 390 children (38.2%) were triaged to RETTS-p red or orange (life-threatening, potentially life-threatening), of which 40 (26.8%) children were classified as emergent. The hospitalised children were triaged with the highest frequency to level yellow (can wait; 41.5%). In children with RETTS-p red or orange, the sensitivity for a defined emergent patient was 66.7%, with a corresponding specificity of 67.0%. The EMS field assessment was in agreement with the final hospital diagnosis in 80% of the cases.

Conclusions

The RETTS-p sensitivity in this study is considered moderate. Two thirds of the children triaged to life threatening or potentially life threatening were later identified as non-emergent. Of those, one in six was discharged from the PED without any intervention. Further, one third of the children were under triaged, the majority were found in the yellow triage level (can wait). The highest proportion of hospitalised patients was found in the yellow triage level. Our result is in agreement with previous studies using other triage instruments. A computerised decision support system might help the EMS triage to increase sensitivity and specificity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 19, no 500, article id 31842832
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Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Människan i vården
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-22354DOI: 10.1186/s12887-019-1857-0PubMedID: 31842832OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-22354DiVA, id: diva2:1382137
Projects
Doktorsavhandling. Prehospital bedömningAvailable from: 2020-01-02 Created: 2020-01-02 Last updated: 2020-01-14Bibliographically approved

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Herlitz, JohanAxelsson, Christer

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