Fifteen-minute consultation: Safety netting effectively.
journal contributionposted on 29.04.2019, 09:25 by Sebastian Jason Gray, Ian D. Wacogne, Damian Roland
The incidence of life-threatening illness in children is at an all-time low while presentations and admissions to hospital increase.1 Healthcare professionals who have first contact with children and young people have a challenging job in judging who needs referral to secondary services and who can continue to be safely managed out of hospital. While the vast majority of children presenting for medical assessment have minor illnesses requiring little or no intervention, diseases evolve and early symptoms and signs may be very non-specific. Analysis of primary care records and retrospective questionnaires showed only half of meningococcal disease was detected at first presentation to primary care physicians.2 However, as evidence suggests that serious illness can superimpose on self-limiting infection3 not all returning patients could, or should, have been treated at first presentation. Given delayed or missed diagnoses can lead to catastrophic personal, societal and financial consequences; at the point of discharge, the advice given the families and carers is of critical importance.