PhD defence D.M. (Dorine) Borensztajn

Paediatric Emergency Medicine: Improving the patient’s journey at the Emergency Department
Prof. dr. H.A. Moll
Prof. dr. J. van der Lei
Tuesday 13 Dec 2022, 13:00 - 14:30
PhD defence
Professor Andries Querido room
Education Center
Erasmus MC
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D.M. Borensztajn will defend her PhD dissertation on Tuesday 13 December 2022, entitled: ’Paediatric Emergency Medicine: Improving the patient’s journey at the Emergency Department‘.


Children with fever form an important part of all ED visits. It is an enormous challenge for physicians to distinguish between self-limiting viral infections, and bacterial infections, which require treatment with antibiotics. If not treated timely, these can have disastrous consequences, such as mortality. However, unnecessary diagnostics and treatment, are expensive and invasive and prolong time spent at the ED.

This dissertation, which studied data of 140,000 European children, aims to improve the care for children at the ED by identifying areas with wide practice variation, by identifying children at risk for a complicated disease course such as intensive care admission and by improving patient flow.

We found large differences across Europe in factors influencing care, such as immunization schedules, physician educational background and guidelines. Furthermore, we found large differences in diagnostics, treatment and admissions of children that attended the ED, regardless of illness severity. Lastly, we found that children that attended the ED at night were more ill than children attending the ED during the day, emphasizing the importance of 24/7 adequate emergency care for children.

Both adolescents and children with comorbidities were more likely to have bacterial infections. Children with comorbidities form a heterogeneous group, with some children having an increased risk of bacterial infections, while others have an increased risk of a complicated disease course, regardless of the cause of the fever.

Finally, we developed a prediction model, that can predict hospital admission upon arrival at the ED. A second prediction model identified children at risk for a severe course. These prediction models can shorten time spent at the ED and can be used to improve safety-netting advice.

More information

The public defence will begin exactly at 13.00 hrs. The doors will be closed once the public defence starts, latecomers can access the hall via the fourth floor. Due to the solemn nature of the ceremony, we recommend that you do not take children under the age of 6 to the first part of the ceremony.

A live stream link has been provided to the candidate.

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