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Triaging plays an important role in providing suitable care to a large number of casualties in a disaster setting. A Pediatric Physiological and Anatomical Triage Score (PPATS) was developed as a new secondary triage method. This study aimed to validate the accuracy of the PPATS in identifying injured pediatric patients who are admitted at a high frequency and require immediate treatment in a disaster setting. The PPATS method was also compared with the current triage methods, such as the Triage Revised Trauma Score (TRTS).
A retrospective review of pediatric patients aged ≤15 years, registered in the Japan Trauma Data Bank (JTDB) from 2012 through 2016, was conducted and PPATS was performed. The PPATS method graded patients from zero to 22, and was calculated based on vital signs, anatomical abnormalities, and the need for life-saving interventions. It categorized patients based on their priority, and the intensive care unit (ICU)-indicated patients were assigned a PPATS ≥six. The accuracy of PPATS and TRTS in predicting the outcome of ICU-indicated patients was compared.
Of 2,005 pediatric patients, 1,002 (50%) were admitted to the ICU. The median age of the patients was nine years (interquartile range [IQR]: 6-13 years). The sensitivity and specificity of PPATS were 78.6% and 43.7%, respectively. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) was larger for PPATS (0.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.59-0.63) than for TRTS (0.57; 95% CI, 0.56-0.59; P <.01). Regression analysis showed a significant correlation between PPATS and the Injury Severity Score (ISS; r2 = 0.353; P <.001), predicted survival rate (r2 = 0.396; P <.001), and duration of hospital stay (r2 = 0.252; P <.001).
The accuracy of PPATS for injured pediatric patients was superior to that of current secondary triage methods. The PPATS method is useful not only for identifying high-priority patients, but also for determining the priority ranking for medical treatments and evacuation.
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