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  • Publication
    Journal Article
    Emergency department assessment and management of children with gastroenteritis.
    (2023-12-31) ;
    Bouchoucha, Stéphane
    ;
    Considine, Julie
    Acute gastroenteritis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in children. The aim of this study was to explore assessment and management of children aged between 6 and 48 months presenting to the emergency department (ED) with acute gastroenteritis.This retrospective cohort study included 340 children aged 6-48 months. Data were collected by medical record audit for children presenting between 1 January and 31 December 2019.General assessments were appropriate, specific dehydration assessment, blood pressure measurement and fluid balance chart documentation could be improved. Management of children with severe or no/mild dehydration was largely compliant with current recommendations: there was variability in management of children with moderate dehydration. There were no significant differences between Australian Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in terms of dehydration severity and pathology abnormalities, however there were differences in management strategies.ED management of children with gastroenteritis was largely consistent with, or superior to, evidence-based recommendations. There was variability in the management of children with moderate dehydration and Australian Aboriginal children but it is unclear whether this is suboptimal or patient specific care. This study has highlighted areas for further research in this unique context.