Definitions and assessment approaches for emergency medical services for children

Susan Fuchs, Mark Terry, Kathleen Adelgais, Marlene Bokholdt, Jane Brice, Kathleen M. Brown, Arthur Cooper, Mary E. Fallat, Katherine E. Remick, Keith Widmeier, Wendy Simon, Melissa Marx*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Pediatric Life Support (PLS) courses and instructional programs are educational tools developed to teach resuscitation and stabilization of children who are critically ill or injured. A number of PLS courses have been developed by national professional organizations for different health care providers (eg, pediatricians, emergency physicians, other physicians, prehospital professionals, pediatric and emergency advanced practice nurses, physician assistants). PLS courses and programs have attempted to clarify and standardize assessment and treatment approaches for clinical practice in emergency, trauma, and critical care. Although the effectiveness of PLS education has not yet been scientifically validated, the courses and programs have significantly expanded pediatric resuscitation training throughout the United States and internationally. Variability in terminology and in assessment components used in education and training among PLS courses has the potential to create confusion among target groups and in how experts train educators and learners to teach and practice pediatric emergency, trauma, and critical care. It is critical that all educators use standard terminology and patient assessment to address potential or actual conflicts regarding patient evaluation and treatment. This article provides a consensus of several organizations as to the proper order and terminology for pediatric patient assessment. The Supplemental Information provides definitions for terms and nomenclature used in pediatric resuscitation and life support courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20161073
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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