Non-urgent paediatric emergency department presentation: A systematic review

Faith O. Alele, Theophilus I. Emeto, Emily J. Callander, Kerrianne Watt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


There has been an increase in the use of the emergency department (ED) for non-urgent presentations. The aim of this systematic review was to identify the proportion, criteria and predictors of non-urgent ED presentations in paediatric populations. A search of multiple databases was conducted for articles published from inception of the databases to 20 August 2018, which reported the proportion, criteria and predictors of non-urgent ED presentation in paediatric populations. Thirty-one articles met the inclusion criteria. The mean proportion of non-urgent paediatric ED presentations was 41.06 ± 15.16%. There appears to be a weak association between predisposing, enabling and needs factors and non-urgent ED use in paediatric populations. The findings of this review suggest that non-urgent ED use in paediatric populations is high. However, non-urgent ED use and the reasons for the visits in paediatric populations remain understudied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-277
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • children
  • emergency department
  • non-urgent
  • paediatric

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