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In the UK 70% of adult services have early warning systems and trigger systems to identify patients at risk of physiological deterioration. Methodological challenges, unvalidated criteria that are not universally applied and insufficient staff education have contributed to difficulties in proving benefit.1
The more rapid physiological decline experienced by children makes it remarkable that these services are not routinely available for children. As simply adapting adult systems for children is inappropriate because of different age-related physiological and developmental factors, there has been an attempt to develop tools specifically for use in the paediatric population.2–6 This survey was designed to identify the prevalence and nature of paediatric early identification systems in the UK to inform future research, policy and the development of appropriate services for children.
A survey was sent to the lead paediatricians, intensivists, anaesthetists and critical care outreach leads of NHS Trusts in the UK caring for children. Personnel were identified from databases held by the Royal College of Paediatrics and …
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