To identify the clinical findings available at the time of hospitalization from the emergency department that are associated with deterioration within 24 hours.
A retrospective case-control study.
A pediatric hospital in Ottawa, ON, Canada.
Children less than 18 years old who were hospitalized via the emergency department between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2012. Cases (n = 98) had an unplanned admission to the PICU or unexpected death on the hospital ward within 24 hours of hospitalization and controls (n = 196) did not.
Ninety-eight children (53% boys; mean age 63.2 mo) required early unplanned admission to the PICU. Multivariable conditional logistic regression resulted in a model with five predictors reaching statistical significance: higher triage acuity score (odds ratio, 4.1; 95% CI, 1.7–10.2), tachypnea in the emergency department (odds ratio, 4.6; 95% CI, 1.8–11.8), tachycardia in the emergency department (odds ratio, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.1–6.5), PICU consultation in the emergency department (odds ratio, 8.0; 95% CI, 1.1–57.7), and admission to a ward not typical for age and/or diagnosis (odds ratio, 4.5; 95% CI, 1.7–11.6).
We have identified risk factors that should be included as potential predictor variables in future large, prospective studies to derive and validate a weighted scoring system to identify hospitalized children at high risk of early clinical deterioration.