Aims We aimed to measure safety netting advice given at discharge to parents of children aged ≤ 5 years who presented with feverish illness in our district general hospital.
Methodology Advice given to parents at discharge of children aged ≤ 5 years who presented with febrile illness was audited against National Institute for Clinical Excellence guideline recommendations.1 The setting was the assessment unit and children’s ward at a district general hospital. The audit was performed between 1st–30th September 2015. Those with a confirmed source of fever were excluded. Patients were identified retrospectively using departmental handover sheets and patient electronic notes were reviewed.
Results A total of 328 children were seen on the assessment unit most of whom were discharged without admission to the ward. Twenty four children met the audit criteria. 21 (87.5%) had at least one piece of appropriate discharge advice documented and the following discharge advice was specifically documented: recognition of dehydration 9 (37.5%), recognition of red flags 14 (58%), recognition of a non-blanching rash 5 (21%) and when to seek help 21 (87.5%).
Discussion NICE suggests that more than 25 pieces of information should be conveyed and documented on discharge of children with fever.1 Our audit shows that busy doctors are not able to provide the whole package of discharge advice. In addition it is unlikely parents will retain this large amount of information. We are therefore in the process of producing a parent information leaflet which will be available for presentation following departmental approval.
NICE Clinical Guideline 160: Feverish Illness in Children. Published May 2013, updated February 2015. Accessed 21/11/15. http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg160/evidence
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