Background: Treatment of paediatric trauma requires specialized infrastructure, medical equipment, medical staff and ancillary support personnel that have been specifically trained for such tasks. Aims and Objectives: To examine the perceptions and attitudes of physicians and nurses in general and paediatric emergency departments (PEDs) on training, confidence, and management of paediatric trauma in order to facilitate the establishment of an optimal model for admitting and treating paediatric trauma patients. Design: Drawing on published literature and a previously conducted qualitative study that explored the provision of medical care to paediatric trauma patients, we conducted an attitude survey. Methods: A 26-item paper-based questionnaire was distributed by nurse managers to all staff working within general EDs and PEDs of 22 medical centres across Israel. Results: Of 843 physicians and nurses who completed the survey, 61.1% considered PEDs the most appropriate facility for treating both minor and severe paediatric trauma, 88.5% believed that minor paediatric trauma should be treated in designated paediatric trauma centres, and 53.6% deemed that paediatric emergency medicine specialists are the most suitable primary decision makers in paediatric trauma. PED teams expressed greater professional confidence for treating paediatric trauma and multiple casualty incident patients. Greater professional confidence was positively correlated with paediatric trauma training, greater exposure to paediatric trauma cases, and working in larger medical centres. Conclusions: The results of the current study suggest that PEDs are perceived to be more appropriate for dealing with paediatric trauma. Also, treatment of severe trauma may be more appropriate in centres that admit large numbers of paediatric trauma cases. Relevance to clinical practice: Emergency medicine teams should undergo training for dealing with paediatric trauma. Such training would develop their skills, increase their confidence, and enhance their emotional abilities to cope with paediatric trauma.
- emergency services
- health policy