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Title: Are increasing volumes of children and young people presenting to Emergency Departments due to increasing severity of illness?
Authors: Roland, Damian
Jones, Sam
Coats, Tim
Davies, Ffion
First Published: 14-Oct-2016
Citation: Academic Emergency Medicine, 2016
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Increasing utilisation of Emergency and Acute Care services by children and young people is a worldwide trend. This is thought to be a result of parent and carer desire for more "on demand" health care assessment and not a consequence of increasing severity of disease. A bespoke acuity assessment system in our department allowed us to test this hypothesis. METHODS: This data is based on the Paediatric Observation Priority Score, a previously published and validated assessment tool designed specifically for Paediatric Emergency Care [1]. It is scored from 0-16 and consists of physiological, observational and historical components with a unique 'gut feeling' element. Data was available from November 2014 to March 2016. RESULTS: There has been a 32.6% increase in the number of children with a POPS>4 (Figure 1) with a small (non-significant) increase in relative acuity. CONCLUSION: In light of the overall total increase in attendances and relative increase in acuity it appears the general cohort of children presenting are more unwell. Given a POPS > 4 is associated with an increased risk of admission for more than 24 hours [1] it can also be concluded that a significant proportion of attendances to the department are 'appropriate'.
DOI Link: 10.1111/acem.13114
ISSN: 1069-6563
eISSN: 1553-2712
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Creative Commons “Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives” licence CC BY-NC-ND, further details of which can be found via the following link: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website.
Description: 12 Month embargo
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Cardiovascular Sciences

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