Guidelines for Care of Children in the Emergency Department

Approved April 2009

Revised and approved by the ACEP Board of Directors, the American Academy of Pediatrics Board of Directors, and the Emergency Nurses Association April 2009

Originally approved by the ACEP Board of Directors December 2000

Development of this statement was supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the Emergency Medical Services for Children National Resource Center, and the Children’s National Medical Center

ABSTRACT. Children requiring emergency care have unique needs, especially when emergencies are serious or life threatening. The majority of ill and injured children are brought to community hospital emergency departments (EDs) by virtue of their geography within communities. Similarly, emergency medical services (EMS) agencies provide the bulk of out-of-hospital emergency care to children. It is, therefore, imperative that all hospital EDs have the appropriate resources (medications, equipment, policies, and education) and staff to provide effective emergency care for children. This statement outlines resources necessary to ensure that hospital EDs stand ready to care for children of all ages, from neonates to adolescents. These guidelines are consistent with the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s report on the future of emergency care in the United States health system. Although resources within emergency and trauma care systems vary locally, regionally, and nationally, it is essential that hospital ED staff and administrators and EMS systems’ administrators and medical directors seek to meet or exceed these guidelines in efforts to optimize the emergency care of children they serve.

Key words: pediatric emergency preparedness.

ABBREVIATIONS: ED, emergency department; EMS, emergency medical services; EMSC, Emergency Medical Services for Children (program); QI, quality improvement; PI, performance improvement.

INTRODUCTION
This policy statement delineates guidelines and the resources necessary to prepare hospital emergency departments (EDs) to serve pediatric patients. Adoption of these guidelines should facilitate the delivery of emergency care for children of all ages and, when appropriate, timely transfer to a facility with specialized pediatric services. This policy is an update of previously published guidelines.1,2

BACKGROUND
The National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey reported that in 2003-2004, there were approximately 4500 emergency departments (EDs) in the United States. Most of these EDs routinely care for patients of all ages.3,4 Of the 115 million ED visits in the US in 2005, approximately 27% were for children.5,6  

In 1993, after nearly a decade of efforts to integrate the needs of children into emergency medical services (EMS) systems, the Institute of Medicine was asked to provide an independent review of emergency medical services for children (EMSC) and report to the nation on the state of the continuum of care for children within the EMS system.7 Summary recommendations of that report concluded that all agencies with jurisdiction over hospitals "require that hospital emergency departments...have available and maintain equipment and supplies appropriate for the emergency care of children" and that they "address the issues of categorization and regionalization in overseeing and development of EMSC and its integration into state and regional EMS systems."

Published data have suggested that compliance with national guidelines is low and that many EDs in the United States and Canada still do not have some of the basic equipment and supplies needed to care for children of all ages.8-10 Middleton and Burt, in the Emergency Pediatric Services and Equipment Supplement of the 2002-2003 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, reported that only 6% of US EDs have all of the recommended pediatric supplies and equipment as outlined in previously published national guidelines.6 Gausche-Hill et al reported similar results in a nationwide survey of EDs in the United States and cited reasons for the lack of equipment availability in many EDs, including lack of awareness, with only 59% of ED managers being aware of the published guidelines, and relative lack of pediatric experience among the workforce with limited exposure to critically ill or injured pediatric patients at many US hospitals.10 In fact, 50% of EDs care for fewer than 10 pediatric patients per day; therefore, pediatric planning by these facilities is crucial.10

Access to optimal emergency care for children is affected by the lack of availability of equipment, appropriately trained staff to care for children, and policies and procedures that ensure timely transfer to definitive care.11 Although advances have been made that promote access to emergency care for children, improved awareness of the pediatric resources available to hospitals, in addition to the development of regionalized and coordinated emergency and trauma care systems, may optimize access and outcomes for many acutely ill and injured children.12,13  

The Institute of Medicine, in a comprehensive report on the state of emergency care in the United States in 2006, made a strong recommendation for regionalized systems of care and further recommended that hospitals and EMS systems appoint qualified coordinators for pediatric emergency care.12 Only 18% of EDs in the United States currently appoint a physician coordinator, and 12% appoint a nursing coordinator for pediatric emergency care. EDs that do appoint these positions tend to be more prepared as measured by compliance with guidelines on the care of children in the ED published by the American College of Emergency Physicians and American Academy of Pediatrics.10  

The EMSC program has also advocated for such regionalized systems, and in response to the need to document outcomes of the program’s activities, performance measures for states and territories were outlined in 2007.14 These performance measures include Measure 66c, which calls for "The existence of a statewide, territorial, or regional standardized system that recognizes hospitals that are able to stabilize and/or manage pediatric medical emergencies and trauma." Target dates have been set for states to comply with these performance measures. Clearly, much work is left to be done to promote and measure pediatric preparedness in all EDs in the United States and for emergency and trauma care systems to be ready to meet the needs of children in disasters.

The following guidelines are intended for all hospital EDs that provide emergency care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that are continuously staffed by a physician. Children may be cared for in other emergency settings, such as freestanding emergency departments or urgent care centers, critical access hospitals15 or stand-by emergency facilities, retail-based clinics, or primary care office practices. These care settings are not addressed in this document, but administrators, physicians, nurses, and other health care providers staffing these settings should ensure that these facilities maintain the necessary equipment, medications, and supplies and are staffed appropriately to care for pediatric patients. Pediatric emergency preparedness guidelines have been created for urgent care centers as well as for offices of primary care providers.16,17  

These guidelines provide current information on equipment, medications, supplies, and personnel considered essential for managing pediatric emergencies in EDs. This statement also offers guidelines for the administration and coordination of pediatric care in the ED; pediatric emergency care quality improvement (QI), performance improvement (PI), and patient safety activities; policies, procedures, and protocols for pediatric care; and key ED support services. It is expected that all EDs in the United States that are staffed by a physician 24 hours a day, 7 days a week can meet or exceed these guidelines and that some hospitals, such as pediatric critical care centers or children’s hospitals with greater resources, will develop and implement even more comprehensive guidelines and share their expertise with their local and regional communities. New technology and research will require that such emergency drug, equipment, and supply lists are kept current and that updated recommendations are readily available to hospitals providing emergency care to children.

  1. GUIDELINES FOR ADMINISTRATION AND COORDINATION OF THE ED FOR THE CARE OF CHILDREN
    1. Physician Coordinator for pediatric emergency medicine is   appointed by the ED Medical Director.
      1. The Physician Coordinator has the following qualifications:
        1. Meets the qualifications for credentialing by the Hospital as a specialist in emergency medicine or pediatric emergency medicine. It is recognized that physicians in these specialties may not always be available in some communities; in these   areas, the Physician Coordinator must meet the qualifications   for credentialing by the Hospital as a specialist in pediatrics or family medicine and demonstrate, through experience or continuing education, competence in the care of children in emergency settings, including resuscitation.
        2. Has special interest, knowledge, and skill in emergency   medical care of children as demonstrated by training, clinical   experience, or focused continuing medical education.
        3. Maintains competency in pediatric emergency care (See Section III: Quality Improvement/Performance Improvement   in the ED)
        4. The Physician Coordinator may be a staff physician who is currently assigned other roles in the ED or may be shared through formal consultation agreements with   professional resources from a hospital capable of providing definitive pediatric care.
      2. The Physician Coordinator is responsible for the following:
        1. Promote and verify adequate skill and knowledge of ED staff physicians and other ED health care providers (ie, physician assistants and advanced practice nurses) in the emergency care   and resuscitation of infants and children.
        2. Oversee ED pediatric QI, PI, patient safety, injury and illness   prevention, and clinical care activities.
        3. Assist with development and periodic review of ED policies and procedures and standards for medications, equipment, and   supplies to ensure adequate resources for children of all ages.
        4. Serve as liaison/coordinator to appropriate in-hospital and out- of-hospital pediatric care committees in the community (if they exist).
        5. Serve as liaison/coordinator to a definitive care hospital (such as a regional pediatric referral hospital and trauma center), EMS agencies, primary care providers, health insurers, and   any other medical resources needed to integrate services for the continuum of care of the pediatric patient.
        6. Facilitate pediatric emergency education for ED health care   providers and out-of-hospital providers affiliated with the ED.
        7. Ensure that competency evaluations completed by the staff are   pertinent to children of all ages.
        8. Ensure pediatric needs are addressed in hospital disaster/emergency preparedness plans.
        9. Collaborate with the nursing coordinator to ensure adequate staffing, medications, equipment, supplies and other resources for children in the ED.
    2. A Nursing Coordinator for pediatric emergency care is appointed by the ED Nursing Director.
      1. The Nursing Coordinator has the following qualifications:
        1. Registered nurse (RN) possessing special interest, knowledge, and skill in the emergency medical care of children as demonstrated by training, clinical experience, or focused continuing nursing education.
        2. Maintains competency in pediatric emergency care.
        3. Credentialed and has competency verification per the hospital policies and guidelines to provide care to children of all ages. The Nursing Coordinator may be a staff nurse who is currently assigned other roles in the ED, such as Clinical Nurse Specialist or may be shared through formal consultation agreements with professional resources from a hospital capable of providing definitive pediatric care.
      2. The Nursing Coordinator is responsible for the following:
        1. Facilitate ED pediatric QI/PI activities. (See Section III: Quality Improvement/Performance Improvement in the ED.)
        2. Serve as liaison to appropriate in-hospital and out-of-hospital   pediatric care committees.
        3. Serve as liaison to inpatient nursing as well as to a definitive care hospital, a regional pediatric referral hospital and trauma   center, EMS agencies, primary care providers, health insurers, and any other medical resources needed to integrate services for the continuum of care of the pediatric patient.
        4. Facilitate, along with hospital-based educational activities, ED nursing continuing education in pediatrics and ensure that pediatric-specific elements are included in orientation for new staff members.
        5. Ensure that initial and annual competency evaluations completed by the nursing staff are pertinent to children of all   ages.
        6. Promote pediatric disaster preparedness for the ED and   participate in hospital disaster preparedness activities.
        7. Promote patient and family education in illness and injury prevention.
        8. Provide assistance and support for pediatric education of out-  of-hospital providers affiliated with the ED.
        9. Works with clinical leadership to ensure the availability of pediatric equipment, medications, staffing, and other resources   through the development and periodic review of ED standards,   policies, and procedures.
        10. Collaborate with the physician coordinator to ensure that the ED is prepared to care for children of all ages, including children with special health care needs.

  2. PHYSICIANS, NURSES, AND OTHER HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS STAFFING THE ED

    1. Physicians staffing the ED have the necessary skill, knowledge, and training in the emergency evaluation and treatment of children of all ages who may be brought to the ED, consistent with the services provided by the hospital.
    2. Nurses and other ED health care providers have the necessary skill, knowledge, and training in providing emergency care to children of all   ages who may be brought to the ED, consistent with the services offered by the hospital.
    3. Baseline and periodic competency evaluations completed for all ED clinical staff, including physicians, are age specific and include neonates, infants, children, adolescents, and children with special   health care needs. Competencies are determined by each institution’s medical staff privileges policy.
  3. GUIDELINES FOR QI/PI IN THE ED

    A pediatric patient care review process is integrated into the QI/PI plan of the ED according to the following guidelines:

    1. Components of the process interface with out-of hospital, ED, trauma,   inpatient pediatrics, pediatric critical care, and hospital-wide QI or PI   activities.
    2. The QI/PI plan of the ED shall include pediatric specific indicators. Minimum components of the QI/PI process should include collecting and analyzing data to discover variances, defining a plan for improvement, and evaluating the success of the QI/PI plan with measures that are outcome based.
    3. Pediatric clinical competency evaluations should be developed as a part of the local credentialing process for all licensed ED staff (eg,   sedation and analgesia, airway management [Appendix I]).   Competencies should be age specific and include neonates, infants, children, adolescents, and children with special health care needs.
    4. Mechanisms should be in place to monitor professional performance, credentialing, continuing education, and clinical competencies including integration of findings from QI audits and case reviews.
  4. GUIDELINES TO IMPROVE PEDIATRIC PATIENT SAFETY IN   THE ED

    The delivery of pediatric care should reflect an awareness of unique pediatric patient safety concerns18,19 and should include the following policies or practices:

    1. Children should be weighed in kg, with the exception of children requiring emergent stabilization, and the weight should be recorded in   a prominent place on the medical record, such as with the vital signs.
      1. For children requiring resuscitation or emergency stabilization, a standard method for estimating weight in kg should be used (eg,   length-based system).
    2. Infants and children should have a full set of vital signs recorded to   include temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate. Blood pressure and pulse oximetry monitoring should be available for children of all ages on the basis of illness and injury severity.
    3. A process should be in place to identify abnormal vital signs by age of patient and to notify the physician of abnormal values obtained.
    4. Processes for safe medication storage, prescribing, and delivery should be established.20,21 This should include the use of precalculated dosing   guidelines for children of all ages.
    5. E.Infection control practices, including hand-hygiene and use of personal protective equipment, should be implemented and monitored.
    6. Pediatric emergency services should be culturally and linguistically appropriate,22 and the ED should provide an environment that is safe for children and supports patient- and family-centered care.23  
    7. Patient identification policies, consistent with the Joint Commission   National Patient Safety Goals, should be implemented and monitored.24  
    8. Policies for the timely reporting and evaluation of patient safety events and for the disclosure of medical errors or unanticipated outcomes should be implemented and monitored, and education and training in disclosure should be available to care providers assigned this responsibility.18,19

  5. GUIDELINES FOR POLICIES, PROCEDURES, AND PROTOCOLS FOR THE ED

    1. Policies, procedures, and protocols for the emergency care of children are developed and implemented; staff should be educated accordingly; and they should be monitored for compliance and periodically updated. These should include, but are not limited to, the following:
      1. Illness and injury triage.
      2. Pediatric patient assessment and reassessment.
      3. Documentation of pediatric vital signs, abnormal vital signs and actions to be taken for abnormal vital signs.
      4. Immunization assessment and management of the underimmunized patient25
      5. Sedation and analgesia for procedures, including medical   imaging.26,27
      6. Consent (including situations in which a parent is not immediately available).28
      7. Social and mental health issues.
      8. Physical or chemical restraint of patients.
      9. Child maltreatment (physical and sexual abuse, sexual assault, and neglect) mandated reporting criteria, requirements and processes. 
      10. Death of the child in the ED.29,30  
      11. Do-not-resuscitate orders.
      12. Family-centered care,31-35 including:
        1. Involving families in patient care decision-making and in   medication safety processes.
        2. Family presence during all aspects of emergency care, including resuscitation.35,36  
        3. Education of the patient, family, and regular caregivers.
        4. Discharge planning and instruction.
        5. Bereavement counseling.
      13. Communication with patient’s medical home or primary health   care provider.37  
      14. Medical imaging policies that address age- or weight- appropriate dosing for children receiving studies that impart ionizing radiation, consistent with ALARA (as low as   reasonably achievable) principles.38  
      15. All-hazard disaster preparedness plan that addresses the following pediatric issues12,39-41:
        1. A plan that addresses availability of medications, vaccines,   equipment, and appropriately trained providers for children in disasters.
        2. A plan that addresses pediatric surge capacity for both injured and noninjured children.
        3. A plan for the decontamination, isolation, and quarantine   of families and children of all ages.
        4. A plan to minimize parent-child separation and improved   methods for reuniting separated children with their families.
        5. A plan that includes access to specific medical and mental health therapies, as well as social services, for children in   the event of a disaster.
        6. A plan that ensures that disaster drills include a pediatric mass casualty incident at least once every 2 years and that all drills include pediatric patients.
        7. A plan for the care of children with special health care needs.
    2. Hospitals should have written pediatric interfacility transfer procedures that include the following pediatric components of transfer42:
      1. Defined process for initiation of transfer, including the roles and   responsibilities of the referring facility and referral center (including responsibilities for requesting transfer and communication).
      2. Transport plan to deliver children safely and in a timely manner to   the appropriate facility capable of providing definitive care.
      3. Process for selecting the appropriate care facility for pediatric specialty services not available at the hospital. These specialty services may include:
        1. Medical and surgical specialty care.
        2. Critical care.
        3. Reimplantation (replacement of severed digits or limbs).
        4. Trauma and burn care.
        5. Psychiatric emergencies.
        6. Obstetric and perinatal emergencies.
        7. Child maltreatment (physical and sexual abuse and assault).
        8. Rehabilitation for recovery from critical medical or   traumatic conditions.
      4. Process for selecting the appropriately staffed transport service to match the patient’s acuity level (e.g. level of care required by   patient, equipment needed in transport) and appropriate for   children with special health care needs.
      5. Process for patient transfer (including obtaining informed consent).
      6. Plan for transfer of patient information (eg, medical record and copy of signed transport consent), personal belongings of the patient, and provision of directions and referral institution   information to family.
      7. Process for return transfer of the pediatric patient to the referring   facility as appropriate.
  6. GUIDELINES FOR SUPPORT SERVICES FOR THE ED

    1. The radiology department should have the skills and capability to   provide imaging studies of children and have the equipment necessary to do so and must have guidelines to reduce radiation exposure that are   age and size specific.38
      1. The radiology capability of hospitals may vary from one institution to another; however, the radiology capability of a hospital must   meet the needs of the children in the community it serves.
      2. A process should be established for the referral of children to appropriate facilities for radiological procedures that exceed the capability of the hospital.
      3. A process should be in place for the timely review, interpretation, and reporting by a qualified radiologist for medical imaging studies.
    2. The laboratory should have the skills and capability to perform   laboratory tests for children of all ages, including obtaining samples, and should have the availability of micro technique for small or limited   sample size.
      1. The clinical laboratory capability must meet the needs of the children in the community it serves.
      2. There should be a clear understanding of what the laboratory   capability is for any given community and definitive plans for referring children to the appropriate facility for laboratory studies should be in place.
  7. GUIDELINES FOR EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES, AND MEDICATIONS FOR THE CARE OF PEDIATRIC PATIENTS   IN THE ED

    1. Pediatric equipment, supplies, and medications should be appropriate for children of all ages and sizes and shall be easily accessible, clearly labeled, and logically safely, and logically organized.
    2. Resuscitation equipment and supplies shall be located in the ED; trays and other items may be housed in other departments (such as the newborn nursery or central supply) as long as the items are immediately accessible to the ED staff. A mobile pediatric crash cart is strongly recommended.
    3. ED staff shall be appropriately educated as to the location of all items.
    4. Each ED shall have a method of daily verification of proper location and function of equipment and supplies.
    5. Medication chart, length-based tape, medical software, or other systems shall be readily available to ED staff to ensure proper sizing of resuscitation equipment and proper dosing of medication.
    6. Table 1 and Appendix 2 outline medications, equipment, and supplies necessary for the care of children in the ED by qualified health care providers.

SUMMARY
The 2006 Institute of Medicine report, Emergency Care for Children: Growing Pains, uses the word "uneven" to describe the current status of pediatric emergency care in the United States.12 Although programs such as EMSC have led toward improvement in the level of pediatric emergency readiness in many communities,43 there remains a significant opportunity for further progress nationwide. The updated guidelines offered in this policy statement are intended to serve as a resource for clinical and administrative leadership of hospital EDs as they endeavor to improve their readiness for children of all ages. An important first step in ensuring readiness is the identification of a physician and nurse coordinator for pediatric emergency care.

All hospital EDs must be continually prepared to receive, accurately assess, and at a minimum, stabilize and safely transfer acutely ill or injured children. This is necessary even for hospitals located in communities with readily accessible pediatric tertiary care centers and regionalized systems for pediatric trauma and critical care. The vast majority of children requiring emergency services in the United States receive this care in a non-children’s hospital ED, with 50% of EDs providing care for fewer than 10 children per day.10 This relatively infrequent exposure of hospital-based emergency care professionals to seriously ill or injured children represents a substantial barrier to the maintenance of essential skills and clinical competency. Recognition of the unique needs of the ill and/or injured children served by a hospital, including children with special health care needs; the commitment to better meet those needs through adoption of these guidelines; and the ongoing commitment to evaluate care quality and safety and maintain pediatric emergency care competencies should provide a strong foundation for pediatric emergency and all-hazard disaster readiness.

References

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine and American College of Emergency Physicians, Pediatric Committee. Care of children in the emergency department: guidelines for preparedness. Pediatrics.   2001;107(4):777-781
  2. American College of Emergency Physicians, Pediatric Committee; and American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Guidelines for preparedness of emergency departments that care for children: a call to action. Ann Emerg Med 2001;37(4):389-391
  3. McCaig LF, Nawar EW. National hospital ambulatory medical care survey: 2004 emergency department summary. Adv Data Vital Health Stat. 2006 Jun   23;(372):1-29
  4. Burt CW, McCaig LF. Staffing, capacity, and ambulance diversion in emergency departments: United States 2003-2004. Adv Data Vital Health Stat. 2006 Sep   27;(376):1-23
  5. Pitts SR, Niska RW, Xu J, Burt CW. National hospital ambulatory medical care   survey: 2006 emergency department summary. Natl Health Stat Rep. 2008 Aug   6;(7):1-39
  6. Middleton KR, Burt CW. Availability of pediatric services and equipment in emergency departments: United States, 2002-2003. Adv Data Vital Health Stat.   2006 Feb 28;(367):1-16
  7. Institute of Medicine, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medical Services. Institute of Medicine Report: Emergency Medical Services for Children. Durch   JS, Lohr KN, eds. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 1993
  8. McGillivray D, Nijssen-Jordan C, Kramer MS, et al. Critical pediatric equipment availability in Canadian hospital emergency departments. Ann Emerg Med. 2001;37(4):371-376
  9. Athey J, Dean JM, Ball J, Wiebe R, Melese d’Hospital I. Ability of hospitals to   care for pediatric emergency patients. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2001;17(3):170-174
  10. Gausche-Hill M, Schmitz C, Lewis RJ. Pediatric preparedness of United States emergency departments: a 2003 survey. Pediatrics. 2007;120(6):1229-1237
  11. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Access to optimal emergency care for children. Pediatrics. 2007;119(1):161-164
  12. Institute of Medicine, Committee of the Future of Emergency Care in the US Health System. Emergency Care for Children: Growing Pains. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2006
  13. Tuggle DW; Krug SE; and American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Orthopedics, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Section on Critical Care, Section on Surgery, and Section on Transport Medicine. Management of pediatric trauma. Pediatrics. 2008;121(4):849-854
  14. EMSC National Resource Center. EMSC Performance Measures: 2007 Edition. Implementation Manual for State Partnership Grantees. Washington, DC: EMSC National Resource Center; 2007.
  15. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, US Department of Health and Human Services. Appendix W: survey protocol, regulations and interpretive guidelines for critical access hospitals (CAHs) and swing-beds in CAHs. In: State Operations Manual. Baltimore, MD: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; 2008. Available at: http://cms.hhs.gov/manuals/Downloads/som107ap_w_cah.pdf   Accessed December 15, 2008
  16. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Pediatric care recommendations for freestanding urgent care centers. Pediatrics. 2005;116(1):258-260
  17. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Preparation for emergencies in the offices of pediatricians and pediatric primary   care providers. Pediatrics. 2007;120(1):200-212
  18. American Academy of Pediatrics, National Initiative for Children’s Health Care Quality Project Advisory Committee. Principles of patient safety in pediatrics. Pediatrics. 2001;107(6):1473-1475
  19. Frush K; Krug SE; and American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Patient safety in the pediatric emergency care setting. Pediatrics. 2007;120(6):1367-1375
  20. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Drugs and Committee on Hospital Care. Prevention of medication errors in the pediatric inpatient setting.   Pediatrics. 2003;112(2):431-436
  21. Lesar TS, Mitchell A, Sommo P. Medication safety in critically ill children. Clin Pediatr Emerg Med. 2006;7:215-225
  22. Taveras EM, Flores G. Why culture and language matter: the clinical consequences of providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services to children in the emergency department. Clin Pediatr Emerg Med. 2004;5:76-84
  23. Sadler BL, Joseph A. Evidence for Innovation. Transforming Children’s Health Through the Physical Environment. Alexandria, VA: National Association of   Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions; 2008
  24. The Joint Commission. 2008 National Patient Safety Goals—Hospital Program. Oakbrook Terrace, IL: The Joint Commission; 2008. Available at: http://www.jcrinc.com/2008-Archived-Audio-Conferences/2008-National-Patient-Safety-Goals-FAQs/788/. Accessed December 15, 2008
  25. American College of Emergency Physicians, Pediatric Committee. Immunization   of adults and children in the emergency department. Ann Emerg Med. 2008;51(5):695
  26. Cote CJ, Wilson S, and the American Academy of Pediatrics and American   Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Work Group on Sedation. Guidelines for   monitoring and management of pediatric patients during and after sedation for   diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. An update. Pediatrics. 2006;118(6):2587-2602
  27. Mace S; Brown L; and the EMSC Panel (Writing Committee) on Critical Issues in the Sedation of Pediatric Patients in the Emergency Department. Clinical policy: critical issues in the sedation of   pediatric patients in the emergency   department. Ann Emerg Med. 2008;51(4):378-399
  28. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Consent for emergency medical services for children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2003;111(3):703-706
  29. Knapp J; Mulligan-Smith D; and American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Death of a child in the emergency   department. Pediatrics 2005;115(5):1432-1437
  30. Knazik SR, Gausche-Hill M, Dietrich AM, et al. The death of a child in the   emergency department. Ann Emerg Med. 2003;42(4):519-52
  31. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Hospital Care. Family-centered   care and the pediatrician’s role. Pediatrics. 2003;112(3 Pt 1):691-697
  32. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Emergency Medicine; and   American College of Emergency Physicians, Pediatric Committee. Patient- and family-centered care and the role of the emergency physician providing care to a child in the emergency department. Ann Emerg Med. 2006;48(5):643-645
  33. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Emergency Medicine; and   American College of Emergency Physicians, Pediatric Committee. Patient- and family-centered care and the role of the emergency physician providing care to a child in the emergency department. Pediatrics. 2006;118(5):2242-2244
  34. Emergency Nurses Association. ENA Position Statement: Care of the Pediatric Patient in the Emergency Care Setting. Des Plaines, IL: Emergency Nurses Association; 2007.  Accessed December 16, 2008
  35. Guzzetta CE, Clark AP, Wright JL. Family presence in emergency medical services for children. Clin Pediatr Emerg Med. 2006;7:15-24
  36. Emergency Nurses Association. ENA Position Statement: Family Presence at the Bedside During Invasive Procedures and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. Des   Plaines, IL: Emergency Nurses Association; 2005.
    Accessed December 16, 2008
  37. American Academy of Pediatrics, Medical Home Initiatives for Children With Special Health Care Needs. The medical home. Pediatrics. 2002;110(1):184-186
  38. Brody AS; Frush DP; Huda W; Brent RL; and American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on Radiology. Radiation risk to children from computed tomography.   Pediatrics. 2007;120(3):677-682
  39. Centers for Bioterrorism Task Force. Hospital Guidelines for Pediatrics in Disasters. 2nd ed. New York, NY: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; 2006. Available at:
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/word/bhpp/bhpp-focus-ped-toolkit.doc.
    Accessed December 15, 2008
  40. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Committee on Medical Liability, and Task Force on Terrorism. The pediatrician and disaster preparedness. Pediatrics. 2006;117(2):560-565
  41. Markenson D; Reynolds S; and American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Task Force on Terrorism. The pediatrician and disaster preparedness. Pediatrics. 2006;117(2):e340-e362. Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/117/2/e340. Accessed December 16, 2008
  42. Teshome G, Closson FT. Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act: the basics and other medicolegal concerns. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2006;53(1):139- 155
  43. Ball JW, Liao E, Kavanaugh D, Turgel C. The emergency medical services for children program: accomplishments and contributions. Clin Pediatr Emerg Med. 2006;7:6-14
  44. Hegenbarth MA; and American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Drugs. Preparing for pediatric emergencies: drugs to consider. Pediatrics.   2008;121(2):433-443

Appendix 1. Clinical and Professional Competency

Demonstration and maintenance of pediatric clinical competency may be achieved through a number of continuing education mechanisms including participation in local educational programs, professional organization conferences, and national life-support programs (ie, Pediatric Advanced Life Support [PALS], Advanced Pediatric Life Support [APLS]: The Pediatric Emergency Medicine Course, Emergency Nurses Pediatric Course) or through scheduled mock codes or patient simulation, team training exercises, or experiences in other clinical settings, such as the operating room (ie, airway management).

Potential areas for the development of pediatric competency and professional performance evaluations may include but should not be limited to:

  1. Triage
  2. Illness and injury assessment and management
  3. Pain assessment and treatment, including sedation and analgesia
  4. Airway management
  5. Vascular access
  6. Critical care monitoring
  7. Neonatal and pediatric resuscitation
  8. Trauma care
  9. Burn care
  10. Mass-casualty events
  11. Patient- and family-centered care
  12. Medication delivery and device/equipment safety
  13. Team training and effective communication

Table 1. Guidelines for Medications for Use in Pediatric Patients in EDsa

Resuscitation Medications

Other Drug Groups

Atropine

Activated charcoal

Adenosine

Topical, oral and parenteral analgesics

Amiodarone

Antimicrobials (parenteral and oral)

Antiemetics

Anticonvulsants

Calcium chloride

Antidotes (common antidotes should be accessible to the ED)b

Dextrose (D10W, D50W)

Antipyretics

Epinephrine (1:1000; 1:10 000 solutions)

Bronchodilators

Lidocaine

Corticosteroids

Magnesium sulfate

Inotropic agents

Naloxone hydrochloride

Neuromuscular blockers

Procainamide

Sedatives

Sodium bicarbonate (4.2%, 8.4%)

Vaccines

 

Vasopressor agents

D10W indicates dextrose 10% in water; D50W, dextrose 50% in water.
a For a more complete list of medications used in a pediatric ED, see reference 44.
b For less frequently used antidotes, a procedure for obtaining them should be in   place.

Appendix 2. Guidelines for Equipment and Supplies for Use in Pediatric Patients in the ED

General Equipment

  • Patient warming device
  • IV blood/fluid warmer
  • Restraint device
  • Weight scale, in kg only (no lb), for infants and children
  • Tool or chart that incorporates both weight (kg) and length to assist physicians and nurses in determining equipment size and correct drug dosing (by weight and total volume), such as a length-based resuscitation tape
  • Pain scale assessment tools appropriate for age

Monitoring Equipment

  • Blood pressure cuffs (neonatal, infant, child, adult-arm, and thigh)
  • Doppler ultrasonography devices
  • ECG monitor/defibrillator with pediatric and adult capabilities including pediatric-sized pads/paddles
  • Hypothermia thermometer
  • Pulse oximeter with pediatric and adult probes
  • Continuous end-tidal CO2 monitoring devicea

Respiratory Equipment and Supplies

  • Endotracheal tubes:
    • (uncuffed: 2.5, 3.0 mm)
    • (cuffed or uncuffed: 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 5.5 mm)
    • (cuffed: 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0 mm)
  • Feeding tubes (5F, 8F)
  • Laryngoscope blades (curved: 2, 3; straight: 0, 1, 2, 3)
  • Laryngoscope handle
  • Magill forceps (pediatric and adult)
  • Nasopharyngeal airways (infant, child, and adult)
  • Oropharyngeal airways (sizes 0-5)
  • Stylettes for endotracheal tubes (pediatric and adult)
  • Suction catheters (infant, child, and adult)
  • Tracheostomy tubes (tube sizes 0-6)
  • Yankauer suction tip
  • Bag-mask device (manual resuscitator), self-inflating (infant size: 450 mL; adult size: 1000 mL)
  • Clear oxygen masks (standard and nonrebreathing) for an infant, child, and adult
  • Masks to fit bag-mask device adaptor (neonatal, infant, child, and adult sizes)
  • Nasal cannulae (infant, child, and adult)
  • Nasogastric tubes: infant (8F), child (10F) and adult (14F-18F)
  • Laryngeal mask airwayb (sizes 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, and 5)

Vascular Access Supplies and Equipment

  • Arm boards (infant, child, and adult sizes)
  • Catheter over the needle device (14-24 gauge)
  • Intraosseous needles or device (pediatric and adult sizes)
  • IV administration sets with calibrated chambers and extension tubing and/or infusion devices with ability to regulate rate and volume of infusate
  • Umbilical vein catheters (3.5F and 5.0F)c
  • Central venous catheters (4.0F-7.0F)
  • IV solutions to include: NS; D5 0.45% NS; and D10W

Fracture Management Devices

  • Extremity splints, including femur splints (pediatric and adult sizes)
  • Spine stabilization method/devices appropriate for children of all agesd

Specialized Pediatric Trays or Kits

  • Lumbar puncture tray including infant (22 gauge), pediatric (22 gauge), and adult (18-21 gauge) lumbar puncture needles
  • Supplies/kit for patients with difficult airway conditions (to include but not limited to supraglottic airways of all sizes, such as the laryngeal mask airway,2 needle cricothyrotomy supplies, surgical cricothyrotomy kit)
  • Tube thoracostomy tray
  • Chest tubes to include infant, child, and adult sizes (infant: 8F-12F; child: 14F-22F; adult: 24F-40F)
  • Newborn delivery kit (including equipment for initial resuscitation of a newborn infant: umbilical clamp, scissors, bulb syringe, and towel)
  • Urinary catheterization kits and urinary (indwelling) catheters (6F-22F)

IV indicates intravenous; ECG, electrocardiography; CO2, carbon dioxide; F, French; NS, normal saline; D5 0.45% NS, dextrose 5% in normal saline; D10W, dextrose 10% in water.

a End-tidal CO2 monitoring is considered the optimal method of assessing for and monitoring of endotracheal tube placement in the trachea; however, for low-volume hospitals, adult and pediatric CO2 colorimetric detector devices could be substituted. Clinical assessment alone is not appropriate.
b Laryngeal mask airways could be shared with anesthesia but must be immediately accessible to the ED.
c Feeding tubes (size 5F) may be utilized as umbilical venous catheters but are not ideal. A method to secure the umbilical catheter, such as an umbilical tie, should also be available
d A spinal stabilization device should be a device that can also stabilize the neck of an infant, child, or adolescent in a neutral position.
Feedback
Click here to
send us feedback