Emergency medical services utilisation among febrile children attending emergency departments across Europe: an observational multicentre study.
Tan CD., Vermont CL., Zachariasse JM., von Both U., Eleftheriou I., Emonts M., van der Flier M., Herberg J., Kohlmaier B., Levin M., Lim E., Maconochie IK., Martinon-Torres F., Nijman RG., Pokorn M., Rivero-Calle I., Tsolia M., Zenz W., Zavadska D., Moll HA., Carrol ED., PERFORM consortium (Personalised Risk assessment in febrile children to optimize Real-life Management across the European Union) None.
Children constitute 6-10% of all patients attending the emergency department (ED) by emergency medical services (EMS). However, discordant EMS use in children occurs in 37-61% with fever as an important risk factor. We aimed to describe EMS utilisation among febrile children attending European EDs. This study is part of an observational multicentre study assessing management and outcome in febrile children up to 18 years (MOFICHE) attending twelve EDs in eight European countries. Discordant EMS use was defined as the absence of markers of urgency including intermediate/high triage urgency, advanced diagnostics, treatment, and admission in children transferred by EMS. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed for the association between (1) EMS use and markers of urgency, and (2) patient characteristics and discordant EMS use after adjusting all analyses for the covariates age, gender, visiting hours, presenting symptoms, and ED setting. A total of 5464 (15%, range 0.1-42%) children attended the ED by EMS. Markers of urgency were more frequently present in the EMS group compared with the non-EMS group. Discordant EMS use occurred in 1601 children (29%, range 1-59%). Age and gender were not associated with discordant EMS use, whereas neurological symptoms were associated with less discordant EMS use (aOR 0.2, 95%CI 0.1-0.2), and attendance out of office hours was associated with more discordant EMS use (aOR 1.6, 95%CI 1.4-1.9). Settings with higher percentage of self-referrals to the ED had more discordant EMS use (p