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Establishing an Algorithm to Ensure the Safety of Discharged Pediatric Patients following a MVC
Pina Violano, PhD, MSPH, RN-BC, CCRN, CPS-T1, Patricia Morrell, BSN, RN-BC1, Monica Lucas, BA, MBA, CPS-I1, April Alfano, MA, BSN, RN, NR-P, CPEN1, Denine Baxter, MHA, BSN, RN, CNML1, Kirsten Bechtel, MD1,2. 1Yale New Haven Children's Hospital, New Haven, CT, USA, 2Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.

Background: To establish an organized system to evaluate the need for an age and weight appropriate child safety restraint systems (CSRS) in a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center for patients < 7 years of age following a motor vehicle crash (MVC).

Methods: An algorithm was developed to assess the need for a CSRS for patients being discharged home from the pediatric emergency department following a MVC. National evidence based guidelines and nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians were used to determine proper CSRS recommendations. A brief educational intervention on state legislation, proper installation and best practices was provided to caregivers prior to seat distribution. A data base was established to collect patient demographics, car seat registration data, and waiver/disclaimer information. Quality assurance is conducted monthly to screen for any missed opportunities.

Results: From September 1, 2015-April 30, 2016, 184 patients under the age of 7 (the age that by state law are required to be in a CSRS) were identified at triage in the pediatric emergency department of a level 1 trauma center. 54 patients were identified as meeting criteria and received an appropriate CSRS.

Conclusions: It is evident that an organized screening process has positive impact on the overall safety of pediatric patients being transported in motor vehicles. Prior to implementation of this algorithm, patients were discharged without screening for state mandated child passenger safety regulations. Having an organized process and appropriate CSRSs readily available contributes to the increase safety of children being transported in motor vehicles.

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