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Revista chilena de pediatría

versión impresa ISSN 0370-4106


MENDEZ E, Benigno Miguel; DUFFAU T, Gastón  y  HERRERA L, Patricio. Is the observation ward (OW) relevant for a pediatric emergency service (ES)?. Rev. chil. pediatr. [online]. 2006, vol.77, n.3, pp.259-266. ISSN 0370-4106.

Management of patients in Emergency is provided in examination boxes, observation rooms, treatment units and hospitalization. Objective: to describe important aspects of health care structure in the OW and establish if the management of these patients differ from others attended in the rest of Emergency areas. Method: 1549 children located in the OW were analyzed out of 4356 cases attending Emergency, in terms of age, sex, time at admission, diagnosis, laboratory exams and treatments. Descriptive statistics included medians, ranks, percentages and SD. Inferential statistics included 95% confidence intervals. For statistical testing, chi square with Yates correction and chi square for trend were used with Epi Info 6,04. Results: Median age was 25 months (7 days to 199 months) and 52,3% were males. Age distribution was significantly different between ES and OW groups, where infants younger than 2 years were more frequently located in the OW (p < 0,0000). Hospitalization from OW was higher (10,4%) compared to ES (2,8%) (p = 0,000). The most common causes for admission were pneumonia and febrile syndrome; instead, most cases of laryngitis (98%), acute asthma (100%), enteric dehydration (96,5%) and febrile seizures (85,7%) were resolved at OW without admission. Conclusions: Patients handled at OW were significantly different from those seen in ES. OW is relevant for ES functioning, where various acute diseases are resolved, avoiding further hospitalization

Palabras clave : observation ward; emergency service.

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