Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

More Pediatric Trauma Planning

5Wk3-Chapleau-cj

This past month, I talked to you about current research looking at prehospital treatment of pediatric patients (click here to read "Small Expectations"). There's more to talk about, so this month we'll look at what else the literature says about prehospital pediatric trauma care.

Mass casualty planning

This is a popular area of prehospital care. From the national incident management system to community planning for mass casualty events, people are making careers out of telling us how to plan for next the big incident. At the conference I spoke at in Dubai this past month, one of the presenters actually made part of the case of my presentation for me. In his discussion on setting up field hospitals, he described pediatric patients as a significant portion of disaster relief. But, he also said it was an unanticipated piece of military field hospital response. As war finds its way into the places where people live, children are becoming victims and finding their way into field hospitals as the health care systems collapse in the conflict. Interestingly, the research has found a hole in our disaster planning regarding pediatrics.

In their paper, "Prehospital preparedness for pediatric mass-casualty events", Shirm S, Liggin R, Dick R and Graham J surveyed nearly 4,000 EMS agencies regarding their disaster planning. They found that although 72% had a written mass casualty plan, only 13% had pediatric-specific plans. They also found 69% reported they didn't have specific plans for mass casualty events at schools. In addition, just 62% included plans for patients with special needs. Only 19% reported using pediatric specific pediatric triage protocols. Based on their findings they concluded, "Although children are among the most vulnerable in the event of disaster, there are substantial deficiencies in the preparedness plans of prehospital emergency medical services agencies in the United States for the care of children in a mass-casualty event."

This study drives us to look more closely at how we plan for disasters. Couple that with the experience of military field hospitals and the pediatric population they serve, and it's clear we need to go back to the planning drawing board. Children are victims -- perhaps the neediest victims of disaster -- and we need to plan better to respond to their need.

Patient safety

Errors in treatment are always a concern, and we have steps in place to minimize risk. Again, research points to problems regarding pediatrics in this area. In their study, "Pediatric patient safety in the prehospital/emergency department setting", Barata IA, Benjamin LS, Mace SE, Herman MI and Goldman RD concluded that, the pediatric population is particularly exposed to emergency department (ED) errors and that few standard practices exist for the safety of care. They discussed endorsing a culture of safety, as well as training all health care professionals to work as a team. The authors suggest medication errors can be reduced by using organizational, manufacturing and regulatory systems. Their consensus is that a safe environment with a high quality of care will reduce pediatric morbidity and mortality.

Again, science tells us we're missing the mark when it comes to protecting pediatric patients. The mechanisms for us to do better exist. We need to include them in our protocol and planning for better outcomes.

Next month we'll talk about mechanism of injuries and outcomes.

RELATED ARTICLES

Rethink the Way EMS Does Patient Care Reports

EMS must let go of the idea prehospital care documentation is strictly about billing and creating a legally defensible record of events.

Hands On May 2015

Read about the latest products in EMS.

Study Examines EMS' Administration of Aspirin

Less than half of eligible patients receive the drug.

Early Clinical Trials Suggests Hydroxocobalamin Beneficial for Hemorrhagic Shock

Medically facilitated hemorrhage control study yields good results, more questions.

Crew Resource Management Can Improve Crew Efficiency

Crews performing in unison offer better learning opportunities.

Serving the Psychological Needs of Your Employees

How does your agency help employees cope with the traumas and stressors of EMS?

Features by Topic

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers