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Emerg Med Australas. 2009 Feb;21(1):67-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-6723.2008.01148.x.

Paediatric emergency guidelines: could one size fit all?

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Emergency Departments, Sydney Children's Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



The development of clinical practice guidelines (CPG) is a core task in EDs and CPGs are widely used. The process of CPGs development in Australian and New Zealand ED is unknown. We aim to describe this process in paediatric EDs and examine the feasibility of developing collaborative guidelines.


A piloted questionnaire regarding CPG development, dissemination, implementation and evaluation was circulated to all 13 Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) sites. Specific questions regarding feasibility of combined guidelines were included.


All PREDICT EDs participated in the survey. All used CPGs in EDs and 12/13 had ED-specific guidelines. EDs had an average of 77 guidelines with approximately 5 new guidelines generated annually. Staff at most sites (10/13) also accessed guidelines from external sources. Most hospitals (10/13) had a guideline committee, generally comprising of senior ED and general paediatric staff. Guidelines were usually written by committee members and 10/13 hospitals adopted modified external guidelines. An average committee met six times a year for 90 min and involved seven clinicians. Most sites did not have a project manager or dedicated secretarial support. Few hospitals included literature references (3/13) or levels of evidence (1/13) in their guidelines. Most did not consider implementation, evaluation or teaching packages. Most sites (10/13) supported the development of collaborative guidelines.


Paediatric EDs expend significant resources to develop CPGs. Collaborative guidelines would likely decrease duplication of effort and increase the number of available, current and evidence-based CPGs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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