Experts call for pediatric consideration in EMS planning
Ill and injured children and their families have unique needs that should be considered in emergency medical services (EMS) protocols and operations, according to a new joint policy statement published in the January issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) EMS Committee jointly created the policy with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Emergency Nurses Association, National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physicians, and National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians.
The recommendations to provide infrastructure support for the out-of-hospital emergency care of children include making sure that equipment and supplies designed for children are available and that EMS professionals are trained to use them appropriately; including care for children and families in emergency preparedness planning and exercises (e.g., concerns relating to unaccompanied children in the event of a disaster); enhancing communication with patients and families by using easy-to-understand terms; having a process to address language barriers for non-English-speaking patients and family members; and creating policies and procedures to allow a family member or guardian to accompany a child during transport when appropriate and feasible.
"Collaborating to strengthen the infrastructure for out-of-hospital emergency care of children will improve systemwide efforts to treat some of our most vulnerable and precious patients," Jeffrey M. Goodloe, M.D., ACEP immediate past chair, said in a statement.
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