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Validation of the Paediatric Triage Tape
  1. L A Wallis1,
  2. S Carley2
  1. 1Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine, Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
  2. 2Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr L A Wallis
 PO Box 901, Wellington, 7654, South Africa; leewallis{at}


Introduction: The Paediatric Triage Tape (PTT) is an easy to use major incident primary triage tool, based upon a modification of the Triage Sieve. The purpose of this study was to prospectively validate the PTT for use in paediatric major incidents.

Methods: A database of children presenting the Trauma Unit of the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, was developed over a nine month period. Each child was triaged using the PTT, and had an Injury Severity Score (ISS) calculated. Additionally, the New Injury Severity Score (NISS) was calculated, and the presence of interventions that may occur to the children (“Garner criteria”) was documented. The sensitivity, specificity, overtriage, and undertriage rates were calculated.

Results: 3461 children were entered into the database. For identifying children with an ISS of over 15, the PTT had a sensitivity of 37.8%, specificity of 98.6%, overtriage rate of 38.8%, and an undertriage rate of 3.5%. Against the NISS and Garner criteria, the results were comparable.

Conclusion: The PTT has poor sensitivity at identifying immediate priority children by these criteria. Specificity (the ability to identify non-T1 patients) is excellent, and the overtriage and undertriage rates are within the range deemed unavoidable by the American College of Surgeons.

  • ACSCOT, American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma
  • ISS, Injury Severity Score
  • NISS, New Injury Severity Score
  • PTT, Paediatric Triage Tape
  • major incidents
  • paediatrics
  • triage

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  • Funding: none.

  • Competing interests: none.