Applying the Ottawa Ankle Rules in a pediatric emergency department

Sara Isabel de Almeida*, Joana Rios, Sofia Costa Lima, Paulo Oom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives Ankle and midfoot injuries constitute one of the most frequent reasons to visit the pediatric emergency department (ED). The aims of the study were (1) to determine the feasibility of the Ottawa Ankle Rules (OARs) in a pediatric ED and its reliability to safely manage ankle and midfoot injuries and (2) to verify the impact in reducing the number of radiographs, healthcare costs, and time spent in the ED. Methods The prospective study enrolled 90 patients for the control group and 94 for the case group. For the control group, the standard of practice was registered. In the case group, before beginning enrolment, an instruction of how to apply the OARs were given to all clinicians. After that, OARs were applied according to patient complaints. A follow-up call was made for both groups. Results The mean age of the control group was 11.9 years (standard deviation, 3.267 years), whereas in the case group was 11.3 years (standard deviation, 3.533 years). Demographic and injury characteristics were similar in both groups. A significant statistical difference was verified in the number of radiographs (P = 0.001) with a reduction of 16.7% in the case group. Patients who did not perform radiography, in the case group, spent at least 1 hour less than the ones who did. The OARs have shown a sensitivity of 100% (95% confidence interval, 39.76-100.00) and specificity of 23.33% (95% CI, 15.06-33.43) with a negative predictive value of 100%. Conclusions The OARs are an important clinical instrument with a high sensitivity and negative predictive value, which allows clinicians to avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation without missing clinically relevant fractures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1123-E1126
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ankle injuries
  • Clinical decision rules
  • Foot injuries

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