Special considerations for pediatric triage in the emergency department

Donna Ojanen Thomas
Nursing Clinics of North America 2002, 37 (1): 145-59, viii
Pediatric emergencies are a common problem resulting in approximately 12.5 million visits to the emergency department yearly. The triage of ill or injured children involves the same processes as that of an adult. The needs of children in emergency situations however, are different and require special attention. Developmental and physiologic variations make communication, assessment, and the identification of serious illnesses or injury quite different when compared with adult triage. Practice and ongoing education concerning pediatric triage should allow emergency department nurses to develop a sixth sense in recognizing and treating children and to become confident in triage decisions.

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