Review of a paediatric emergency department observation unit

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Abstract

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.

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