A TEMPLATE FOR DESCRIBING THE “ILL-APPEARING” INFANT

Templates do not just facilitate documentation but also can guide bedside observations. The person taking a history who uses OLD-CARTS might be reminded to ask a dimension of a symptom that otherwise would not have been elicited.

 

What does it mean to say a child is “well-appearing” or “ill-appearing?” I find the GCS (Glasgow Coma Scale) categories to be helpful:

 

Eyes – is the child attentive with the eyes

Motor – is the child appropriately active/reactive

Verbal – is the level of social interaction appropriate for age (eg comforted by the arms of the mother).

 

Using GCS can stimulate a more detailed description of what we mean when we describe an ill-appearing child.

 

TAKE HOME POINTS

-Use the categories of GCS to detail what it means for a child to be “ill-appearing.”

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