The Pediatric Submersion Score Predicts Children at Low Risk for Injury Following Submersions

Rohit P. Shenoi, Sachin Allahabadi, Daniel M. Rubalcava, Elizabeth A. Camp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Pediatric submersion victims often require admission. We wanted to identify a cohort of children at low risk for submersion-related injury who can be safely discharged from the emergency department (ED) after a period of observation. Methods: This was a single-center retrospective derivation/validation cross-sectional study of children (0–18 years) who presented postsubmersion to a tertiary care, children's hospital ED from 2008 to 2015. We reviewed demographics, comorbidities, and prehospital and ED course. Primary outcome was safe discharge at 8 hours postsubmersion: normal mentation and vital signs. To identify potential scoring factors, any p-value of ≤0.25 was included in binary logistic regression; p-values < 0.05 were included in the final score. In the validation data set, we generated a one-point scoring system for each normal ED item. Receiver operating characteristic curves with area under the curve (AUC) were generated to test sensitivity and specificity. Results: The derivation data set consisted of 356 patients and validation data set of 89 patients. Five factors generated a safe discharge score at 8 hours: normal ED mentation, normal ED respiratory rate, absence of ED dyspnea, absence of need for airway support (bag-valve mask ventilation, intubation, and CPAP), absence of ED systolic hypotension (maximum score = 5; range = 0–5). Only the 80 patients with values for all five factors were included in the sensitivity/specificity analysis. This resulted in an AUC of 0.81 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.71–0.91; p < 0.001). Based on the sensitivity/specificity analysis, the discriminative ability peaks at 75% with a score of ≥3.5. A score of 4 or higher in the ED would suggest a safe discharge at 8 hours (sensitivity = 88.2% [95% CI = 72.5%–96.7%]; specificity = 62.9% [95% CI = 44.9%–78.5%]; positive predictive value = 69.8% [95% CI = 53.9%–82.8%]; negative predictive value = 84.6% [95% CI = 65.1%–95.6%]). Conclusions: A risk score can identify children at low risk for submersion-related injury who can be safely discharged from the ED after observation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1500
Number of pages10
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Volume24
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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