• 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.
    • Single Centre Experience – Clinical Presentation and Frequency of Paediatric Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) At Diagnosis over a 5-Year Period

      McKenna, A; Sandys, N; Ryder, K; Metwally, N; Brennan, A; O’Regan, M; Hoey, MCV; Roche, EF (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-03)
      Type 1 diabetes (T1D) symptoms are subtle and easily overlooked. Delayed diagnosis can result in Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a life threatening complication with lasting consequences. We sought to define the presenting features of T1D and DKA frequency, in children <15 years diagnosed in a single national tertiary centre, and identify predictive factors for DKA. A review of T1D incident cases was undertaken from 2008-2012 using the National Diabetes Register (ICDNR) and clinical case notes. Data were compared with a 1997/8 national study. We found DKA at presentation in 28.7 % of children and 15.5% had moderate/severe DKA. Commonest symptoms were polydipsia, polyuria, weight loss, and lethargy. Median symptom duration was 17 days. Clinical presentation was similar and frequency of DKA at T1D diagnosis remains high. The proportion with moderate/severe DKA is lower than the 25% previously reported (p=0.038). National monitoring and targeted action to reduce DKA at diagnosis is required.