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Emergency departments serve as the nation’s hub for patients faced with life-threatening injuries and illnesses. Although the role of emergency departments (EDs) may seem clear by its title, U.S EDs are overcrowded with patients presenting nonurgent symptoms. A significant population of nonurgent ED users are pediatric patients presenting nonspecific upper respiratory symptoms and uncomplicated colds. Findings have uncovered that although pediatric upper respiratory infections (URIs) are one of the most uncommon reasons for hospital admittance from an ED, it is one of the most common reasons pediatric patients are brought into emergency departments. It appears that inappropriate facility usage is associated with patient/guardian difficulty in measuring acuity, low health literacy and misconceptions about the role of emergency facilities. Therefore, the implementation of an infographic depicting available health care facilities, in addition to breaking down URI and colds into their component parts, may assist health care professionals with educating patients about proper facility usage. With a large population of low-literacy patients, implementing comprehensible and simple educational materials in emergency departments may lead to decreased inappropriate facility usage.
Berry, Margaret, "Low Acuity Pediatric Patients Presenting Uncomplicated Colds and Nonspecific Upper Respiratory Symptoms in U.S. Emergency Departments" (2017). Honors Theses. 2799.
Honors Thesis-Open Access