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Description of cause of serious illness and outcome in patients identified using ETAT guidelines in urban Malawi

Abstract

AIMS To evaluate the performance of guidelines for emergency triage and treatment (ETAT) of children presenting to hospitals in the developing world. Part of the study was concerned with the delivery of emergency treatment to the sickest group of patients, characterisation of their illness, and outcome.

METHODS AND RESULTS A total of 236 children were admitted during the study period, 27 of whom died. The three main causes of death were malaria or malaria related illness (n = 7), pneumonia (n = 6), and malnutrition (n = 11). Forty seven children were categorised as needing emergency treatment. Thirty one had no treatment, and eight died; 16 received one or more recommended treatments, of whom five died. The main limitations to delivery of immediate care were the lack of staff in the department and lack of rapidly available blood.

  • emergency care
  • developing world

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