Emergency care for life-threatening pediatric illness and injury requires specialized resources including equipment, drugs, trained personnel, and facilities. The American Medical Association Commission on Emergency Medical Services has provided guidelines for the categorization of hospital pediatric emergency facilities that have been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).1 This document was used as the basis for these revised guidelines, which define:
1. The desirable characteristics of a system of Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) that may help achieve a reduction in mortality and morbidity, including long-term disability.
2. The role of health care facilities in identifying and organizing the resources necessary to provide the best possible pediatric emergency care within a region.
3. An integrated system of facilities that provides timely access and appropriate levels of care for all critically ill or injured children.
4. The responsibility of the health cane facility for support of medical control of pre-hospital activities and the pediatric emergency care and education of pre-hospital providers, nurses, and physicians.
5. The role of pediatric centers in providing outreach education and consultation to community facilities.
6. The role of health cane facilities for maintaining communication with the medical home of the patient.
Children have their emergency care needs met in a variety of settings, from small community hospitals to large medical centers. Resources available to these health care sites vary, and they may not always have the necessary equipment, supplies, and trained personnel required to meet the special needs of pediatric patients during emergency situations.
- Copyright © 1995 by the American Academy of Pediatrics