External Validation and Modification of a Pediatric Trauma Triage Tool
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BACKGROUND: Simon et al. developed a simple secondary triage tool (mPTS) based on physiologic parameters and physical findings to identify pediatric trauma patients who had a low likelihood of serious injury. Such patients could be treated in the emergency room without full trauma team activation. Our objective was to evaluate the mPTS on the trauma population at our institution, a Level I pediatric trauma center. METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study of all trauma team activations at The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) (1999-2002), excluding penetrating trauma and burns. Patients were stratified into high-risk (Injury Severity Score [ISS] >or=12) and low-risk (ISS <12) groups. The mPTS evaluates airway integrity, open wounds, neurologic status, hemodynamics, and skeletal integrity and applies a score of 1 point to each criterion. RESULTS: There were 628 trauma patients (382 boys, mean age of 8 +/- 3.8 years). The mPTS had a sensitivity of 92% and a positive predictive value (PPV) of 47% when applied to our population. The mPTS missed 21 patients with significant injuries, many were intra-abdominal. We modified the mPTS to include contusions to head and/or torso and a history of loss of consciousness and a 7-point score was developed. After modification the sensitivity was 99%, specificity 21%, and PPV of 46% with a 20% reduction in unnecessary trauma team activations. CONCLUSIONS: The original mPTS by Simon et al. was not sensitive enough when applied to our population. The Sick Kids modification to the score improved the sensitivity to 99%. The PPV of 46% indicates a safe level of overtriage is maintained. The Sick Kids mPTS remains easy to apply and would have reduced trauma team activation by 20%.
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