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The Pediatric Assessment Triangle: A Novel Approach for the Rapid Evaluation of Children

Dieckmann, Ronald A. MD, MPH, FACEP, FAAP*; Brownstein, Dena MD; Gausche-Hill, Marianne MD, FACEP, FAAP‡§

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e3181d6db37
Review Article

The Pediatric Assessment Triangle (PAT) has become the cornerstone for the Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals course, sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This concept for emergency assessment of children has been taught to more than 170,000 health care providers worldwide. It has been incorporated into most standardized American life support courses, including the Pediatric Advanced Life Support course, Advanced Pediatric Life Support course, and the Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course. The PAT is a rapid and simple observational tool suitable for emergency pediatric assessment regardless of presenting complaint or underlying diagnosis. This article describes the PAT and its role in emergency pediatric assessment.

From the *University of California, San Francisco, CA; †University of Washington, Division of Emergency Medicine, Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA; ‡David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles; and §Department of Emergency Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA.

Reprints: Marianne Gausche-Hill, MD, FACEP, FAAP, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, 1000 W Carson, Torrance, CA 90502 (e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.