Emergency medical services for children: A general pediatrician's perspective

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6 Scopus citations


The EMSC movement is still in its infancy, and there is much that remains to be done. The primary care pediatrician plays a major role in the EMSC system and should continue to advocate for efficient, high-quality pediatric emergency care. In summary, there are several ways that the office-based pediatrician can and should become involved with EMSC: 1. Pediatricians should emphasize safety and injury prevention at each health maintenance visit throughout a child's life2. Pediatricians should encourage all parents to become certified in BLS/CPR. Ideally, training in CPR should be provided during prenatal and childbirth classes3. Pediatricians should advocate for injury prevention and safety campaigns in their communities. They can also become involved with efforts to develop legislation dealing with issues in injury prevention and safety4. Pediatricians should ensure that all children receive the appropriate immunizations5. Pediatricians need to maintain office emergency preparedness. All office personnel should maintain certification in BLS as a minimum and ideally, PALS. Equipment used for pediatric resuscitation should be available and functional. Monthly mock codes should be scheduled to ensure that all personnel clearly know their roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency. 6. Pediatricians should maintain their skills in emergency pediatrics. In addition, they should maintain certification in PALS. Continuing medical education (CME) workshops and conferences in emergency pediatrics are available throughout the year. Also, pediatricians can maintain their airway management skills by practicing endotracheal intubation in the operating room setting. 7. Pediatricians must become familiar with the prehospital care providers, EDs, and transport services in their communities. Association with a pediatric intensive care unit at a tertiary care center would also be beneficial. 8. Pediatricians must be available for consultation to local EDs. They must realize that, in many instances, they may represent the physician who is most experienced with caring for the critically ill or injured child. 9. Pediatricians can serve as medical advisors to the EMS systems in their communities. 10. Pediatricians should stay well informed on issues pertaining to EMSC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-241
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Problems in Pediatrics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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