• Implementing a paediatric early warning score into pre-hospital practice

      Rolls, Martin (2019-06-01)
      Aim: This study addressed a desire by ambulance clinicians for additional education in the examination and assessment of the unwell child; it also explored whether ambulance clinicians could use a paediatric early warning score (PEWS) safely and effectively in the pre-hospital arena. Methods: A small-scale study introduced a validated PEWS into pre-hospital practice. The paediatric observations priority score (POPS) combines physiological observations with clinicians’ review. POPS uses a range of proxy measures such as work of breathing, alertness, gut feeling and known high-risk factors, to further refine the scoring. Based on a sample of over 24,000 patients, POPS has been validated for use in emergency departments (EDs). POPS can identify potentially critically unwell children as well as those fit for discharge without hospital admission, the fundamental purpose of an ED. Study participants were surveyed before and after the trial period in order to examine self-reported scores in confidence and competence levels for the child in pain, the breathless child, the child with a decreased level of consciousness, the febrile child and the seriously injured child. Completed patient report forms (PRFs) were returned to the principal investigator for further analysis. PRFs were re-distributed among participants for rescoring. Once rescoring was completed, the PRFs were returned to the principal investigator for calculation of interrater reliability. Participants remained anonymous for the survey. Results: Interrater reliability (Kappa coefficient) was calculated as 0.401, which is considered moderate agreement. As POPS rose, variance decreased. Lower POPS had variance, but these patients were lower acuity. Equal scoring in the main was reliable. Conclusion: For a cohort of ambulance clinicians, POPS was found to be safe and effective. Self-reported levels in confidence and competence improved in all patient presentations when comparing before and after the trial period (Table 1). Table 1. Comparison of mean scores for confidence and competence before and after trial period, stratified by patient presentation. Comparison of mean scores Confidence Competence Before After Diff (+/-) Before After Diff (+/-) Pain 5.01 6.34 1.33 4.17 7.49 3.32 Breathless 5.13 6.52 1.39 6.54 7.62 1.08 Decreased level of consciousness 5.93 6.47 0.54 6.04 7.58 1.54 Febrile 6.92 7.06 0.14 6.85 8.20 1.35 Seriously injured 5.95 6.44 0.49 5.99 7.60 1.61 Abstract published with permission.
    • Predictors of effective management of acute pain in children within a UK ambulance service: A cross-sectional study

      Whitley, Gregory; Hemingway, Pippa; Law, Graham Richard; Wilson, Caitlin; Siriwardena, Aloysius (2020-07)
    • The use of the Paediatric Assessment Triangle in the management of the sick child

      Ogden, Kimberley (2016-09)
      Background The Paediatric Assessment Triangle (PAT) has been proven to be effective in the general impression of the health status of the child and can interlink the potential underlying pathophysiology so to alert the clinician into how critically ill/ injured the child might be. It is a rapid ‘hands off’ approach when you first encounter the child. The aim is to highlight the use of this assessment tool to allow the clinician a step wise approach to paediatric care so to enhance our treatment in the prehospital environment. Method A mixed method approach was used to gather quantifiable data from auditing patient report forms over a 3 month period during the implementation of the PAT which was followed by a questionnaire to gather qualitative information from the staff regarding their feelings towards using it. Results Data gathered from patient report forms over the 3 month period after the introduction of the PAT showed an initial baseline of 12% of it being used. Once the tool had been implemented an increase to 63.3% showing a significant uptake from the staff who were trained in its use. The questionnaire indicated that staff were welcoming of the use of the assessment tool and felt more confident when assessing a child. Conclusion The PAT showed a marked increase in being used throughout this project and the majority of staff appeared to be able to utilise it appropriately. An attempt to perform this on a larger scale would be beneficial to gauge whether it would be welcomed on a broader spectrum amongst staff and managers. Recommendations would include receiving more training for paediatrics and for consideration to be made to create a clinical performance indicator for child patients to ensure that patient report forms are being completed appropriately and quality care is being delivered to this category of patients. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/33/9/e4.4.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2016-206139.16