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Pediatrics. 2007 Dec;120(6):1229-37.

Pediatric preparedness of US emergency departments: a 2003 survey.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, 1000 W Carson St, Box 21, Torrance, CA 90509, USA. mgausche@emedharbor.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Our goal was to assess the degree of pediatric preparedness of emergency departments in the United States.

METHODS:

A closed-response survey based on the American Academy of Pediatrics/American College of Emergency Physicians joint policy statement, "Care of Children in the Emergency Department: Guidelines for Preparedness," was mailed to 5144 emergency department medical and nursing directors. A weighted preparedness score (scale of 0-100) was calculated for each emergency department.

RESULTS:

A total of 1489 useable surveys (29%) were received, with 62% completed by emergency department medical directors. Eighty-nine percent of pediatric (age: 0-14 years) emergency department visits occur in non-children's hospitals, 26% of visits occur in rural or remote facilities, and 75% of responding emergency departments see <7000 children per year. The vast majority of visits (89%) occur in emergency department areas shared with adult patients; 6% occur in a separate pediatric emergency department. Only 6% of emergency departments had all recommended equipment and supplies. Emergency departments frequently lacked laryngeal mask airways for children (50%) and neonatal or infant equipment. In contrast, recommended medications were more uniformly available, as were transfer policies for medical or surgical intensive care. Fifty-two percent of emergency departments reported having a quality improvement/performance improvement plan for pediatric emergency patients, and 59% of respondents were aware of the American Academy of Pediatrics/American College of Emergency Physicians guidelines. The median pediatric-preparedness score for all emergency departments was 55. Pediatric-preparedness scores were higher for facilities with higher pediatric volume, facilities with physician and nursing coordinators for pediatrics, and facilities with respondents who reported awareness of the guidelines.

CONCLUSION:

Pediatric preparedness of hospital emergency departments demonstrates opportunities for improvement.

PMID:
18055671
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2006-3780
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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