A criteria map audit is a medical record audit in which quality of care is evaluated according to algorithmically arranged criteria. Thus, a particular criterion is applied to the patient record only if other criteria have been met. For example, if a stung child's condition is severe but not life threatening and if he has had a positive skin test for antivenom sensitivity then he should receive antivenom only after receiving adrenalin and hydrocortisone. We used a modified criteria map audit to determine both the clinical picture of scorpion envenomation and quality of care process in 94 children. Related outcomes of care measured included mortality, persistent morbidity, allergic reaction to scorpion antivenom and length of stay in hospital. Scorpion stings in the Negev region are usually due to the yellow scorpion, L. quinquestriatus, and usually occur in the summer months on the extremities in exposed male children under 10. The clinical picture is more severe when the scorpion is yellow, when the child is younger and when the sting is on the trunk or head. Symptoms apparently mediated by the central nervous system (2.6 findings/child) were more frequent than parasympathetic symptoms (2.3 findings/child). Treatment with antivenom and specific therapy for complications led to very low persistent morbidity and mortality in symptomatic cases, but was also accompanied by a longer hospital stay (64% equal to or greater than 3 days) than for asymptomatic cases (18% equal to or greater than 3 days). Testing for antivenom sensitivity was omitted in an unacceptably high percentage of cases (69%) and its omission led to an allergic reaction in 4 out of 40 cases (10%). Inadequacy in treatment of 7 secondary clinical problems ranged from 71% for hypertension to 29% for seizures (mean 46%). Persistent morbidity was negligible and mortality was 1.2%. We conclude that criteria map audit can be used to describe the clinical and epidemiological picture of a clinical problem while at the same time providing an audit of the process of care.
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