Pediatrics: Kids need specialized care in hospital emergency departments

Sep 21, 2009

According to a recent IOM report, only 6 percent of U.S. hospital emergency departments are fully equipped to properly care for children. With high rates of novel H1N1 (swine) flu expected this winter, the time to address these deficiencies is immediate.

In a joint policy statement published in Pediatrics, "Guidelines for Care of in the Emergency Department," pediatric emergency medicine specialists and others provide recommendations for appropriate equipment, training, medications, and policies for pediatric emergency care.

"Children account for 20 percent of all emergency department visits, yet most hospitals are unprepared to provide appropriate care," said Joseph L. Wright, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President of the Child Health Advocacy Institute at Children's National Medical Center. "The potential widespread impact of the Novel H1N1 strain of influenza underscores the urgency to ensure that our kids receive the best care when they come to their community hospital's ."

Dr. Wright is trained as a pediatric emergency medicine physician and helped write the revised policy statement, released in the journal Pediatrics. Dr. Wright was also on the Institute of Medicine committee that wrote the 2006 report, "Emergency Care for Children: Growing Pains."

Examples of appropriate care can include the size of equipment, such as tubes for intubation, as well as ready access to specialists like pediatric anesthesiologists. The existence of specific policies and procedures to address the needs of children and families, particularly in times of surge, are also critically important.

Source: Children's National Medical Center (news : web)

Explore further: Hair from infants gives clues about their life in the womb

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Statewide program to improve emergency care for children

Aug 14, 2009

An initiative is underway to improve emergency medical care for Illinois' youngest patients. Loyola University Health System (LUHS), in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health and other area hospitals, ...

Doctors' orders lost in translation

Jul 17, 2008

When patients are discharged from the emergency department, their recovery depends on carefully following the doctors' instructions for their post care at home. Yet a vast majority of patients don't fully understand what ...

Report says U.S. ERs in crisis

Jun 15, 2006

The Institute of Medicine in Washington says the U.S. emergency care system is fragmented and severely compromised in its ability to handle disasters.

More children need medical help for RSV than previously known

Feb 04, 2009

More than 2 million children with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) are seen in hospitals, emergency rooms and doctors' offices in the United States every year -- many more than doctors know. In fact, only 3 percent of children ...

Recommended for you

Crankier babies may get more TV time

Apr 14, 2014

(HealthDay)—Fussy and demanding babies are likely to spend slightly more time plopped in front of a TV or computer screen when they're toddlers than are "easier" babies, new research finds.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring ...

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.