WHO releases updated guideline on Paediatric emergency triage, assessment and treatment: care of critically-ill children

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently updated its guideline document pertaining to Paediatric Emergency Triage, Assessment and Treatment (ETAT).

Key Messages:

This guideline is intended for use in low-resource settings where infants and children are likely to be managed by non-specialists.

The aim is to provide clinical guidance to these health workers on managing infants and children presenting with signs of severe illness.

The updated guideline makes recommendations on three main areas:

1. Detection of hypoxaemia and use of Oxygen therapy

  • when to start and stop oxygen therapy;
  • oxygen flow rates and humidification in severely ill children with emergency signs;

2. Fluid management in children with signs of impaired circulation

  • which intravenous fluids,
  • at what rate and for how long, should be used in the management of infants and children presenting with impaired circulation or shock; and

3. Management of Seizures

  • anticonvulsant medicines for children with acute seizures when intravenous (IV) access is and is not available;
  • second-line anticonvulsant medicines for children with established status epilepticus;
  • pharmacological interventions as prophylaxis to prevent recurrence of febrile seizures in children; and
  • diagnostic tests that should be performed on infants and children presenting with seizures with altered consciousness.

Useful Links:

Link to the updated guideline:


Link to  Pocket book of hospital care for children, second edition:


Link to WHO’s ETAT course Participant’s Manual:

Click to access 9241546875_eng.pdf

Link to WHO’s ETAT course Facilitator’s Guide:

Click to access 9241546883_eng.pdf


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