Min Hui Lyria Hoa1, Yong-Kwang Gene Ong2, Jen Heng Pek1

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Sengkang General Hospital, Singapore
2Department of Children's Emergency, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore

Keywords: Pediatric, transfer, trauma


OBJECTIVES: Pediatric trauma patients presenting to general emergency departments (EDs) may be transferred to pediatric EDs for further management. Unnecessary transfers increase health-care costs, add to workload, and decrease satisfaction. We, therefore, aimed to evaluate the proportion of unnecessary pediatric trauma transfers and describe patient characteristics of these transfers at the pediatric ED.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review of cases with trauma-related diagnoses was carried out from January to April 2017. Information regarding patient demographics, diagnosis, and clinical progress was collected. A transfer was defined as unnecessary if the patient was discharged from the pediatric ED without any therapeutic procedure performed.

RESULTS: There were 117 cases of trauma transfers. The mean age was 8.3 ± 4.9 years, and 77 (65.8%) patients were male. Ninety-five (81.2%) transfers were from restructured hospitals. Thirty-one (26.5%) cases were admitted to the hospital. Thirty-four (29.1%) cases were unnecessary transfers. The length of stay in the ED for these transferred cases was 118.4 ± 87.1 min. Referring ED was not significantly associated with discharge (odds ratio [OR]: 1.28, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.43–3.83, P = 0.792), discharge without any therapeutic procedure performed (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 0.50–4.31, P = 0.591), or length of stay (mean difference: 22.3 min, 95% CI: 84.5–39.9, P = 0.471).

CONCLUSION: About a third of trauma transfers were unnecessary. Further collaborative efforts would be necessary to further define the situation in different health-care settings and exact reasons elucidated so that targeted interventions could be implemented to improve pediatric trauma care.

How to cite this article: Lyria Hoa MH, Ong YKG, Pek JH. Trauma transfers to the pediatric emergency department – Is it necessary? Turk J Emerg Med 2020;20:12-7.

Author Contributions

All authors have made substantial contributions to the conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of the data. All authors have also revised the material critically for important intellectual content and approved the final version to be submitted. The authors have full access to all aspects of the research and writing process, and take final responsibility for the paper.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Financial Disclosure