The gravity of the issue is realized in the fact that injury alone results in mortality in children between the ages of 1-19 than all other causes. Moreover, there are 21,000 deaths accounted for by illness and other disorders (Institute of Medicine Emergency Medical Services for Children Summary, 1993). The alarming realities compel us to think of more means to prevent pediatric emergencies, and if such is inevitable, to improve the way in which emergency pediatric care is delivered. Addressing the Special Needs of Pediatric PatientsOriginally, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system was developed for the treatment of adult trauma and cardiac patients (Institute of Medicine Emergency Medical Services for Children Summary, 1993).
The system has been drafted to focus special attention on children with serious injuries and illnesses, acknowledging that they have special physical and developmental needs. For instance, their vital signs, including their respiratory rates, heart rates, and blood pressure differ from those of adults; the same vital signs that suggest decline or worsening in adults may not be apparent in children. Moreover, their stage of physical, emotional and cognitive development may influence their response to medical care and their risk of illness and injury (Emergency Preparedness for Children with Special Healthcare Needs, 1999).
Another noteworthy purpose of the EMS is to create standardized guidelines for emergency pediatric care for children of children suffering from complicated diseases, including sickle cell anemia, malignancies, or severe asthma, catering to their specific needs. They are prone to unnecessary suffering when unexpected attacks occur, and neither specialists nor primary care doctors are thoroughly knowledgeable of emergency pediatric care apt for these especially complex diseases (Emergency Preparedness for Children with Special Healthcare Needs, 1999).
The EMS adapts approaches the issue of emergency pediatric care in the most holistic manner. All the people involved in the delivery of such care need specific, requisite training from the beginning until the end of the process; this involves training emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, emergency department staff, nurses, and rehabilitation specialists (Emergency Medical Services Resource Kit for Children, 1999). Child-specific equipment catering to children of a diverse age and size range must be offered at hospitals and ambulances.
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