Referral and transfer of critically ill children to a higher level facility: An evaluation of appropriateness and safety.

Candice Royal, Neil McKerrow


South Africa’s District Health System relies on referral between healthcare facilities of various levels, however, little is known about the validity of such referrals with respect to the acutely ill child.Furthermore, the transfer of these children is undertaken by the provincial emergency services staffed by healthcare workers with varying levels of skill. The impact of these transfers on patient outcome at the referral center is unknown.  This study will attempt to describe the appropriateness of referrals accepted to a higher facility in the province and evaluate the safety of such transfers.