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ISRN Nursing
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 627354, 6 pages
Research Article

Benefit of BP Measurement in Pediatric ED Patients

1ED/ICU/Telemetry, HealthEast Woodwinds Health Campus, Woodbury, MN 55125, USA
2Emergency Department, HealthEast St. John’s Hospital, Maplewood, MN 55109, USA

Received 26 March 2012; Accepted 2 May 2012

Academic Editors: K. Clark and A. Green

Copyright © 2012 Karen M. Poor and Tamara Bostrack Ducklow. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Obtaining blood pressures in pediatric emergency department patients is the standard of care; however, there is little evidence to support its utility. This prospective study assesses the benefit of BP acquisition in patients ≤5 years. Methods. Data were collected by the ED triage nurses on 649 patients in two community hospital EDs. Relationships between abnormal blood pressures and the patients’ age, acuity, and calm versus not-calm emotional state were analyzed. Results. There were significant differences in the rate of elevated BPs in the calm and not-calm groups of patients. Overall, one- and two-year-old patients were more likely to have elevated BPs than those in other age groups. Very few patients in the sample had hypotension (1%). There was no relationship between Emergency Severity Index (ESI) acuity level and an abnormal BP. Nineteen percent of calm patients had elevated BPs, with 3.6% of patients in the stage two class of hypertension. Conclusions. There is limited benefit in obtaining BPs in children age of five or less regardless of whether the child is calm or not in ESI acuity levels 3 and 4.