Paediatrics Publications


Identification of adverse events in pediatric severe traumatic brain injury patients to target evidence-based prevention for increased performance improvement and patient safety.

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INTRODUCTION: Trauma centres are required to continuously measure, evaluate and improve care. Severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI) patients are highly susceptible to adverse events (AE; unintended, potentially harmful events resulting from health care) due to their unstable condition requiring high risk interventions, multiple medications and invasive monitoring. Objectives were to describe: (1) a process for identifying AE in pediatric sTBI patients to identify safety risks, target and implement evidence-based prevention strategies; and (2) a tertiary care PICU's sTBI AE experience.

METHODS: Merging databases, Trauma Registry with Adverse Events Management System, identified AE in patients. Details on the event location, type and severity of harm were combined with patient demographics, injury data, costs and outcomes in a cohort of 193 PICU sTBI patients (2000-15). Descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression were undertaken to describe AE, and their association with risk factors and outcomes.

RESULTS: 103/193 sTBI patients (53%) suffered at least one AE. 238 AE occurred (1.23 AE/patient), with 30% of patients having 2+ AE. Most resulted in no harm (54%) with decubitus ulcers (15%) the most common AE. AE patients were more likely to be monitored for elevated ICP (p

CONCLUSIONS: Merging databases is an effective practice to identify AE and safety risks in trauma populations. Utilizing this method, a PICU AE rate of 1.23 events per patient was found with TBI severity the most important factor to increase the odds of AE. AE represent performance improvement events, opportunities to optimize care, decrease costs, as well as improve outcomes, to ultimately improve patient safety in this vulnerable population.


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