Most E-R's not equipped for kids

September 21, 2009

A new survey by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the Emergency Nurses Association says only 6 per cent of the nation's 4,000 emergency departments a fully prepared for children

Their joint policy statement was published in the journal Pediatrics.

Emergency departments don't just need smaller equipment for child patients, they often need different equipment. And doctors, nurses, and technicians need training in the special techniques and proper dosages for pediatric care.

Children account for 20 per cent of the 119 million E-R visits, according to figures from the Institute of Medicine.

However, barely half of all the emergency care directors at hospitals were aware there are special guidelines for emergency pediatric care.

The vast majority of hospitals - about 80 per cent - have MOST of the equipment needed to properly care for kids. But most need more help with the training.

With the H1N1 virus causing more serious illness for children and young adults, hospitals may be more inclined to adopt the proper guidelines, and get the proper equipment.

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