Aim: To review the function of an emergency department paediatric observation unit.
Method: A retrospective observational study reviewing the activity of the observation unit for 12 months
Results: During 12 months, 4446 children were admitted to the observation unit and 76% were discharged home: usually within 8 hours. The average admission rate was 12 children in 24 hours. The commonest causes for children being admitted to the observation unit were respiratory problems and gastroenteritis or dehydration.
Conclusion: The emergency paediatric observational unit was used to assess and treat children with a variety of conditions. This enabled many children to be managed in the emergency department rather than being admitted to the paediatric wards.
- BCH, Birmingham Children’s Hospital
- ED, emergency department
- observation unit
- emergency department
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Competing interest: none declared.