To determine pediatrician preparedness to manage emergencies, a nationally representative random sample of 1000 non-hospital-based pediatricians was surveyed about (1) types of emergencies encountered and methods of transport to an emergency facility, (2) availability and use of equipment and medications in the office, and (3) determinants of pediatrician confidence in managing emergencies. The proportion of pediatricians who had encountered specific emergencies ranged from 86% for meningitis to 22% for cardiopulmonary arrest. The majority transported acutely ill children to an emergency department by ambulance. Availability of individual pieces of equipment and medications in offices ranged from 97% for epinephrine 1:1000 to 11% for bone marrow needles for intraosseous access. Combinations of equipment available to manage particular emergencies ranged from 61% for severe dehydration to 11% for cardiopulmonary arrest. The equipment available in a pediatrician's office was significantly related to the type of primary work setting. Pediatrician confidence in managing the initial stabilization of emergencies ranged from 58% for seizures to 25% for epiglottitis. Confidence was related significantly to year residency was completed, Advanced Cardiac or Advanced Pediatric Life Support training, work setting, and the availability of equipment in the office. Continuing education regarding initial office management of and equipment for common emergencies should improve the pediatrician's confidence and competence in this area.
- Received May 29, 1990.
- Accepted September 5, 1990.
- Copyright © 1991 by the American Academy of Pediatrics