Demand at an urban urgent care center where 24-hour pediatric care by non-pediatricians is available

Trejo Varela LM, Damborenea García A

Affiliation of the authors

PAC Begoña - Bilbao - Osakidetza/Servicio Vasco de Salud, Spain.



Trejo Varela LM, Damborenea García A. Demand at an urban urgent care center where 24-hour pediatric care by non-pediatricians is available. Emergencias. 2011;23:299-2


Objective: Overcrowding is a significant problem for pediatric emergency departments

of hospitals. Some of the patients brought to such services could receive care outside the

hospital. Our objective was to determine demand for pediatric care at an urban urgent

care center that ensured 24-hour coverage; care was provided by non-pediatricians who

received training in pediatric urgent care.

Methods: Retrospective, descriptive, observational study of patients under the age of 14

years treated at an urban urgent care center in 1 year. We analyzed sociodemographic

data, reasons for consulting, diagnoses, treatments, and referral or not to a hospital.

Results: A total of 2711 requests for pediatric urgent care were managed at this center.

The most frequent reasons for seeking care were fever (30.3%), respiratory symptoms

without breathing difficulty (29.5%), skin lesions (11%), and blunt trauma or cuts

(10%). The main diagnoses were upper respiratory tract infection (21.5%), sore throat

or tonsillitis (14.4%), fever syndrome (13.8%), and cuts and blunt trauma (10%). The

most commonly prescribed treatments were antipyretics, analgesics (paracetamol and/or

ibuprofen), and/or written or verbal recommendations (57%), and antibiotics (24.2%).

The patient was referred to a hospital in 5.7% of the cases, most often for treatment of

blunt trauma or cuts (35.7%).

Conclusions: Fever and respiratory symptoms in the absence of respiratory difficulty

were the reasons for seeking care for most pediatric patients. Most cases could be

managed on the basis of physical examination and history taking. This type of urgent

care center is a promising approach to reducing hospital emergency department



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