In an effort to maximize staff utilization, all pediatric trauma patients were triaged by emergency room personnel to one of two tiers, based on information reported by prehospital providers over radiotelephones. A total of 952 patients less than 15 years of age were evaluated during a 1-year period. The triage criteria had a sensitivity of 86% in predicting which trauma patients would require operating room and/or pediatric intensive care, while maintaining a specificity of 90%. Fifteen patients died; however, by TRISS methodology there were no unexpected deaths and four unexpected survivors. All eventual deaths were initially captured from field data by the severely injured triage criteria. The study data suggest that physician-controlled two-tiered field triage criteria can safely serve to maximize staff utilization in the emergency room.
- Pediatric trauma triage
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