Author: Muhammad Akhter Hamid, Sohaib Siddiqui, Jabeen Fayyaz, Ayesha Chandna, Aliya Ariz, Joe Butchey, Elancheliyan Ambalavanar, Niraj Mistry, Aftab Muhammad Azad, Junaid A. Bhatti, Dennis Scolnik

BACKGROUND: We assessed whether the paediatric-appropriate facilities were available at Emergency Departments (ED) in community hospitals in a Canadian province.
METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of EDs in community hospitals in Ontario, Canada that had inpatient paediatric facilities and a neonatal intensive care unit. Key informants were ED chiefs, clinical educators, or managers. The survey included questions about paediatric facilities related to environment, triage, training, and staff in EDs.
RESULTS: Of 52 hospitals, 69% (n=36) responded to our survey. Of them, 14% EDs (n=5) had some separated spaces available for paediatric patients. About 53% (n=19) of EDs lacked children activities, e.g., toys. Only 11% (n=4) EDs were using paediatric triage scales and 42% (n=15) had a designated paediatric resuscitation bay. Only half of the ED (n=18) required from their staff to update paediatric life support training. Only 31% (n=11) had a designated liaison paediatrician for the ED. Paediatric social worker was present in only 8% (n=3) of EDs in community hospitals.
CONCLUSION: Most of the Ontario community hospital EDs included in this survey had inadequate facilities for paediatric patients such as specific waiting and treatment areas.
KEYWORDS: Child-friendly; Environment, Survey; Triage; Waiting area