Assessment of the Triage System in a Pediatric Emergency Department. A pilot study on critical code


Introduction. In Italy, triage involves assigning a priority color code to patients arriving at the hospital Emergency Department: red (very critical), yellow (moderately critical), green (not very critical), and white (not critical). Methods. This study was aimed at assessing the triage system in the Emergency Department of ?Giannina Gaslini? Children? s Hospital in Genoa, Italy. The authors examined 130 triage forms assigning a yellow code in 2003, in order to determine whether they had been correctly filled in with regard to the detection of vital parameters, identification of main symptoms and color code assignment. Results. Results showed that vital signs were recorded in 94% of patients, main symptoms were identified in 97%, and a yel- low code was assigned according to hospital guidelines in 84%. The percentage of underestimation (3.2%) was higher than that reported in the literature (2%). Conclusions. The study shows the need to improve compliance with the guidelines and to evaluate green and white codes.