Table 1

Assessment for emergency conditions requiring immediate treatment

ETAT guidelinesAPLS course
Airway and breathingVisible respiratory distressNot breathing
Not breathing or obstructed  breathingWork of breathing, assessed by:
 Respiratory rate/rhythm
 Recession (intercostal, subcostal or sternal)
 Accessory muscle use
 Nasal flaring
 For wheeze and stridor
 To estimate air movement
Skin colour: pallor or cyanosis
CirculationWarmth of hand.Skin temperature
If hand is not warm:Heart rate
 Pulse: fast and weak?Pulse volume
 Capillary refillCapillary refill
DisabilityUnconsciousMental status/conscious level
ConvulsingPosture (hypotonia, decerebrate or decorticate)
DiarrhoeaIf diarrhoea, check for:
 Sunken eyes
 Very slow skin pinch
  • ETAT, emergency triage assessment and treatment; APLS, advanced paediatric life support.