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Publication Detail
Nurse-led implementation of ETAT+ is associated with reduced mortality in a children's hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Hands S, Verriotis M, Mustapha A, Ragab H, Hands C
  • Publisher:
    Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    1, 8
  • Journal:
    Paediatrics and International child health
  • Status:
  • Country:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    ETAT, low-resource, mortality, paediatric, task-sharing
Background: In the wake of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic in Sierra Leone, secondary care facilities faced an increase in admissions with few members of medical staff available to assess and treat patients. This led to long waiting times in hospital outpatient departments. The study was undertaken in the outpatient department of Ola During Children's Hospital (the tertiary paediatric hospital for Sierra Leone) in the period immediately following the EVD epidemic of 2014-2015.Aims: This retrospective analysis of operational programme data aimed to assess whether a quality-improvement approach and task-sharing between medical and nursing staff improved the quality of triage and the timeliness of care.Methods: All staff working in the outpatient department were offered a 4-week training course, followed by on-the-job supervision and support for 6 months. Nurses who successfully completed the course were given responsibility for the initial assessment of sick patients and for prescribing and giving initial treatment. Data were collected at three points: before intervention and at 3 and 6 months after initiation of the intervention. All children presenting to the hospital for medical attention between 0800 and 1400 Monday to Friday were included. Triage assessment by the outpatient nurse was compared to that made by a clinically experienced observer, and the time taken for each child to be triaged, assessed and given initial treatment was recorded.Results: Between months 0 and 6 of the intervention, detection of emergency signs by the triage nurse improved from 30% to 100%, and detection of priority signs improved from 34% to 100%. For children presenting with emergency signs, the median time between triage and full assessment improved from 57 minutes before intervention to 17 minutes at 3 months and 5 minutes at 6 months (p < 0.0005). For the same group, median time between triage and first antibiotic or antimalarial treatment improved from 220 minutes before intervention to 40 minutes at 3 months and 18 minutes at 6 months (p = 0.006).Conclusion: The results indicate that, with appropriate training and support, extending the emergency assessment and treatment of sick children to nursing staff in West African hospitals may improve the accuracy of triage and the time to assessment and treatment of children presenting with signs of serious illness.
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