Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Susan M. Fox-Wasylyshyn

Keywords

Health and environmental sciences, Canadian Triage Acuity Scale, Emergency Department triage, Emergency nursing, Emergency triage decision-making, Sepsis

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Recognition and prioritization of septic patients in the Emergency Department (ED) is a fundamental component of the management of sepsis, a condition that is frequently encountered in EDs and causes significant morbidity and mortality. However, it is not known how triage nurses determine acuity level among this group. The purpose of this study was to examine the factors that predict triage acuity level among septic patients, and to examine how patients with high versus low acuity scores differed with respect to time until receipt of first antibiotic, and 28-day in-hospital mortality. Logistic regression analysis suggested that high acuity assignment was independently associated with communication barriers, acute confusion, unwell appearance, and hypotension. Further analysis suggested that those assigned high acuity triage scores had a lower mean time to first antibiotic and a higher risk of 28-day in-hospital mortality.

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