Pediatr Emerg Med J.  2017 Jun;4(1):18-24. 10.22470/pemj.2017.00017.

Triage results of children who visited the emergency department via emergency medical service providers: an observational study in a regional emergency medical center

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Goyang, Korea.


We aimed to investigate the triage results and the degree of agreement between prehospital and hospital stages of pediatric patients who visited the emergency department (ED) via emergency medical service providers (EMSP) in comparison with adult patients.
We retrospectively reviewed 8,152 pediatric patients who visited a regional emergency medical center ED via EMSP from January 2015 to December 2015. Pediatric patients were defined as younger than 15 years according to the Korean Triage and Acuity Scale (KTAS). Given the difference of the triage tools of the prehospital (EMSP) and hospital (KTAS) stages, we performed the re-triage into “critical” and “non-critical” Comparisons of characteristics between pediatric and adult patients were made using chi-square tests. The degree of agreement between the tools was analyzed using κ analysis.
Of 8,152 patients, 654 (8.0%) were pediatric patients. Direct medical control was more frequently performed to adult patients (P < 0.001). Critical patients were more common among adults (12.2% by KTAS, 24.8% by EMSP) than children (3.5% by KTAS, 14.1% by EMSP). The κ value of pediatric patients was lower than that of adult patients (0.09 [poor]; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.01–0.18 vs. 0.38 [fair]; 95% CI, 0.35–0.40).
Pediatric patients transferred by EMSP showed lower severity and degree of agreements of the triage results between prehospital and hospital stages than adult patients. It is necessary to pay particular attention to pediatric triage in a pre-hospital setting.


Adult; Critical Illness; Emergency Medical Services; Pediatrics; Reproducibility of Results; Triage
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