Table 1

Characteristics of children with fever diagnosed with SBI (n=131) and without SBI (n=1124)

CharacteristicChildren with SBIChildren without SBIp Value
Age (years)§2.16 (0.93–4.65)1.79 (0.86–3.76)0.113
 1 month–1 year36 (28%)325 (29%)
 1 year–2 years26 (20%)280 (25%)
 2–5 years38 (29%)335 (30%)
 5–16 years31 (24%)184 (16%)
Gender (male)72 (55%)671 (60%)0.297
Referral from primary care54 (42%)287 (26%)0.000*
MTS classification: high urgency (U1–2)53 (42%)337 (31%)0.009*
MTS flowcharts
 General24 (19%)314 (29%)
 Worried parent11 (9%)177 (16%)
 Shortness of breath in children36 (28%)138 (13%)
 Fits5 (4%)116 (11%)
 Diarrhoea and vomiting8 (6%)106 (10%)
 Abdominal pain in children6 (5%)39 (4%)
 Rashes4 (3%)30 (3%)
 Unwell child2 (2%)29 (3%)
 Ear problems5 (4%)24 (2%)
 Urinary problems11 (9%)16 (1%)
 Other15 (12%)105 (10%)
Temperature in the ED (oC)§39.3 (38.6–39.8)38.9 (38.1–39.6)0.000*
  • * Indicates a significant difference (p<0.05)

  • Values are number (percentage) unless otherwise stated.

  • Valid data available for all patients, except for the variables GP referral, MTS classification, temperature and duration of ED visit (data available for >97% of cases).

  • § Median (IQR).

  • Other flowcharts (with n<25): asthma (n=7), corpus alienum (n=1), limb problems (n=4), haematological disease (n=6), headache (n=24), crying baby (n=20), abscesses or local infections (n=7), sore throat (n=23), GI bleeding (n=1), limping child (n=5), neck pain (n=7), facial problems (n=2), eye problems (n=3), chest pain (n=3), irritable child (n=2), back pain (n=3), apparently drunk (n=2).

  • ED, emergency department; GI, gastro-intestinal; GP, general practitioner; MTS, Manchester triage system; SBI, serious bacterial infection.