• Paediatric early warning trigger, a cry for help

      Bolger, T; Clarke, N; Crowe, S; Martin, C; Koe, S (Irish Medical Journal, 2015-12)
      In paediatrics, it is crucial to ensure that the child who is clinically deteriorating is rapidly recognised and treated. We implemented a Paediatric Early Warning Trigger (PEWT) in our unit to improve recognition of these patients. Our trigger was a series of physiological measurements with a PEWT call if any result was outside the accepted range. We retrospectively compared 12 months prior to the introduction of the trigger (January to December 2009) to the three years post the introduction of the trigger (January 2010 to December 2012). We compared the time from deterioration to involvement of senior staff during the two time periods. We also examined the rates of crash calls and PICU transfers in the two periods. We found that the time from deterioration to senior clinician involvement reduced from 312 minutes to 166 minutes and the rate of transfers to PICU among the triage category 1&2 patients reduced from 1:50 in 2009 to 1:129, 1:118 and 1:131 during the three years of the trial. The rate of cardiac arrest among this group reduced from 1:100 in 2009 to 1:129, 1:216 and 1:542 during the three years of the trial. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of a Paediatric Early Warning Trigger in an Irish setting. We have been able to maximise senior clinician input into our sickest children in a more timely fashion.