Incorporating a Trauma-Informed Care Protocol Into Pediatric Trauma Evaluation: The Pediatric PAUSE Does Not Delay Imaging or Disposition

Brendin R Beaulieu-Jones, Sarah Bingham, Kurt K Rhynhart, Daniel P Croitoru, Marcy N Singleton, Maia S Rutman, Reto M Baertschiger
Pediatric Emergency Care 2022 January 1, 38 (1): e52-e58

OBJECTIVES: Trauma evaluation in the emergency department (ED) can be a stressful event for children. With the goal of minimizing pain, anxiety, and unneeded interventions in stable patients, we implemented the Pediatric PAUSE at our level 1 adult/level 2 pediatric trauma center. The Pediatric PAUSE is a brief protocol performed after the primary survey, which addresses Pain/Privacy, Anxiety/IV Access, Urinary Catheter/Rectal exam/Genital exam, Support from family or staff, and Explain to patient/Engage with PICU team. The aim was to assess whether performing the PAUSE interfered with timeliness of emergent imaging in pediatric patients and their disposition.

METHODS: We identified all patients aged 0 to 18 years evaluated as trauma activations at our institution after the Pediatric PAUSE was implemented (October 1, 2016-March 31, 2017) as well as 2 analogous 6-month pre-PAUSE periods. Patient demographics, time to imaging studies, and time to ED disposition were analyzed.

RESULTS: One hundred seventy-two patients met the study criteria, with a mean age of 10.9 years and mean injury severity score of 10.6. One hundred fifteen participants (68.5%) were transferred from other hospitals, and 101 (87.8%) had ≥1 imaging study performed before arrival. The Pediatric PAUSE was performed for 41 (25%) of 163 study participants. There was no difference in time to first imaging study in participants for whom the PAUSE was performed (18.4 vs 15.0 minutes, P = 0.09).

CONCLUSIONS: The PAUSE is a practice intervention designed to address the psychosocial needs of pediatric trauma patients and their families to help prevent posttraumatic stress symptoms. Implementation did not interfere with the timeliness of first imaging in pediatric trauma patients.

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