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Triage conducted by lay-staff and emergency training reduces paediatric mortality in the emergency department of a rural hospital in Northern Mozambique

Dekker-Boersema , J. and Hector, J. and Frances Jefferys , L. and Binamo, J. and Camilo, D. and Muganga, G. and Aly, M. and Langa, E. B. R. and Vounatsou, P. and Hobbins, M. A.. (2019) Triage conducted by lay-staff and emergency training reduces paediatric mortality in the emergency department of a rural hospital in Northern Mozambique. Travel medicine and infectious disease, 9 (4). pp. 172-176.

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Abstract

Introduction
The majority of emergency paediatric death in African countries occur within the first 24 h of admission. A coloured triage system is widely implemented in high-income countries and the emergency triage and assessment treatment (ETAT) is recommended by the World Health Organization, but not put into practice in Mozambique. We implemented a three-colour triage system in a rural district hospital with lay-staff workers conducting the first triage.
Methods
A retrospective, before and after, mortality analysis was performed using routine patient files from the district hospital between 2014 and 2017. The triage system was implemented in August 2016. Inclusion criteria were children under 15 years of age that entered the emergency centre. Primary outcome was child mortality rate. Secondary outcomes included the percentage agreement between the clinical and non-clinical staff and the duration from triage to first treatment. We used a negative binomial model in STATA 15 to compare mortality rates, and Kappa statistics to estimate the agreement between clinical and non-clinical staff.
Results
4176 admissions were included. The mortality rate ratio (MMR) was 45% lower after the start of the intervention (2016; MRR = 0.55; 0.38, 0.81; p = 0.002), compared to before. To estimate the agreement between non-clinical and clinical staff, 548 (of the 671) patient files were included. The agreement was estimated at 88.7% (Kappa = 0.644; p < 0.001). The median waiting time decreased with urgency of the triage: 2 h33 for ‘green’/least serious (IQR 1 h58-3 h30), 21 min for yellow/serious (IQR 0 h10-0 h58) and nine minutes for ‘red’/urgent (IQR 2–40 min).
Conclusion
In a rural setting with nurse-led clinical care and non-clinician staff working at the triage reception, implementation of a three-coloured triage system was feasible. Triage and ETAT training was associated with a decrease of 45% of paediatric deaths. The impact on mortality, low cost, and ease of the implementation supports scaling this intervention in similar settings.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Biostatistics > Bayesian Modelling and Analysis (Vounatsou)
UniBasel Contributors:Vounatsou, Penelope
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1477-8939
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:03 Mar 2020 16:11
Deposited On:03 Mar 2020 16:11

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