Pediatric Early Warning Systems aid in triage to intermediate versus intensive care for pediatric oncology patients in resource-limited hospitals

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Abstract

Pediatric oncology patients hospitalized in resource-limited settings are at high risk for clinical deterioration resulting in mortality. Intermediate care units (IMCUs) provide a cost-effective alternative to pediatric intensive care units (PICUs). Inappropriate IMCU triage, however, can lead to poor outcomes and suboptimal resource utilization. In this study, we sought to characterize patients with clinical deterioration requiring unplanned transfer to the IMCU in a resource-limited pediatric oncology hospital. Patients requiring subsequent early PICU transfer had longer PICU length of stay. PEWS results prior to IMCU transfer were higher in patients requiring early PICU transfer, suggesting PEWS can aid in triage between IMCU and PICU care.

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