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.
- prehospital care
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