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Paediatric-appropriate facilities in emergency departments of community hospitals in Ontario: A cross-sectional study

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Muhammad Akhter Hamid1,2, Sohaib Siddiqui1, Jabeen Fayyaz3, Ayesha Chandna4, Aliya Ariz5, Joe Butchey1, Elancheliyan Ambalavanar1, Niraj Mistry1, Aftab Muhammad Azad6, Junaid A. Bhatti7, Dennis Scolnik2


1 Scarborough and Rouge Hospital, Toronto, Canada


2 University of Toronto, Department of Paediatrics, Toronto, Canada


3 Sickkids Hospital, Toronto, Canada


4 Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, Regina, Canada


5 Hamilton Health Sciences Centre, Hamilton, Canada


6 Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar


7 Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, Canada


Corresponding Author: Muhammad Akhter Hamid, Email: mahamid@rougevalley.ca


© 2017 World Journal of Emergency Medicine


DOI: 10.5847/wjem.j.1920–8642.2017.04.003


BACKGROUND: We assessed whether the paediatric-appropriate facilities were available at Emergency Departments (ED) in community hospitals in a Canadian province.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of EDs in community hospitals in Ontario, Canada that had inpatient paediatric facilities and a neonatal intensive care unit. Key informants were ED chiefs, clinical educators, or managers. The survey included questions about paediatric facilities related to environment, triage, training, and staff in EDs.

RESULTS: Of 52 hospitals, 69% (n=36) responded to our survey. Of them, 14% EDs (n=5) had some separated spaces available for paediatric patients. About 53% (n=19) of EDs lacked children activities, e.g., toys. Only 11% (n=4) EDs were using paediatric triage scales and 42% (n=15) had a designated paediatric resuscitation bay. Only half of the ED (n=18) required from their staff to update paediatric life support training. Only 31% (n=11) had a designated liaison paediatrician for the ED. Paediatric social worker was present in only 8% (n=3) of EDs in community hospitals.

CONCLUSION: Most of the Ontario community hospital EDs included in this survey had inadequate facilities for paediatric patients such as specific waiting and treatment areas.

(World J Emerg Med 2017;8(4):264–268)


KEY WORDS: Child-friendly; Environment, Survey; Triage; Waiting area

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