Study objective: We evaluate the association between triage levels assigned using the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale and surrogate markers of validity for real-life children triaged in multiple emergency departments (EDs).
Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study evaluating the triage assessment and outcomes of all children presenting to 12 pediatric EDs, all of which are members of the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada group, during a 1-year period (2010 to 2011). Anonymous data were retrieved from the ED computerized databases. The primary outcome measure was the proportion of children hospitalized for each triage level. Other outcomes were ICU admission, proportion of patients who left without being seen by a physician, and length of stay in the ED. Evaluation of all children visiting these EDs during 1 year was expected to provide more than 1,000 patients in each triage category.
Results: A total of 550,940 children were included. Pooled data demonstrated hospitalization proportions of 61%, 30%, 10%, 2%, and 0.9% for patients in Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale levels 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively. There was a strong association between triage level and admission to the ICU, probability of leaving without being seen by a physician, and length of stay.
Conclusion: The strong association between triage level and multiple markers of severity in 12 Canadian pediatric EDs suggests validity of the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale for children.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Mosby, Inc.