Navigation Links
Most ERs Not Fully Prepared for Pediatric Patients

Only 6 percent had all the recommended equipment, survey finds

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Parents who find themselves rushing a child to the nearest emergency room might want to keep a new finding in mind: Only 6 percent of emergency rooms in the United States have all the equipment they should have on hand to treat youngsters.

Many hospitals declined to respond to the survey, however, so the UCLA researchers suspect the true number of centers that don't meet recommendations might be even lower.

Among other deficiencies, hospitals failed to have a variety of devices geared toward infants and newborn babies, according to the survey, which is published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

The survey doesn't address the issue of whether hospitals with less appropriate equipment provide substandard services to kids, noted Dr. Karen Sheehan, medical director of Injury Prevention and Research at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. "But if you don't have equipment small enough for a child, it is not a big leap to think this may affect a child's care."

Surveys were sent in 2003 to 5,144 emergency rooms around the United States, asking about what equipment was geared toward the proper treatment of children. The researchers wanted to know if the hospitals were following 2001 guidelines regarding pediatric care that were released by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Emergency Physicians.

According to the study, only 11 percent of emergency room visits by kids occur in hospitals specifically designed to treat children. The rest end up in regular emergency rooms.

The emergency rooms contacted by the researchers only returned 1,489 surveys, a response rate of 29 percent. Officials at 59 percent of the emergency room departments that responded said they were aware of the 2001 guidelines, but many didn't follow them completely.

Just half of the hospitals surveyed had so-called laryngeal mask airways on hand for children. The masks, equipped with tubes, allow patients to breathe when their airway may be obstructed.

The study authors noted that the survey response rate was low and pointed out that hospitals that did respond tended to deal with higher numbers of pediatric patients. So, the authors wrote, it's possible that emergency rooms as a whole may be doing a worse job of following the guidelines.

The authors add that "much work is left to be done to improve pediatric preparedness of [emergency rooms]."

The American College of Emergency Physicians was quick to respond to the 6 percent statistic, which it called "misleading."

In a statement released Monday, the group cited studies that "show 95 percent of children who come to emergency departments are treated successfully and released. This raises the question of whether the list of equipment is too extensive, since emergency departments use it as a guideline, and the universal good outcomes seem to indicate that physicians are making the necessary adjustments."

Sheehan also noted there are some caveats to the study. "In all fairness, many guidelines come out each year, so it is challenging to keep up with them all," she said.

Also, some hospitals may see comparably few young patients each day, and "it may be hard to devote limited resources to serving relatively few children," she added.

Still, she said, "we need to assure we can provide excellent emergency care for children in whatever type of emergency department they are seen."

Parents have their own role to play when it comes to emergency care, said Dr. James G. Linakis, a pediatric emergency physician at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, R.I. "They should carefully evaluate what kind of emergency services are available to them. The time to do that is before their child needs an emergency department."

The best choice is typically an emergency room that sees the most children, he said. "If there are pediatric emergency medicine specialists on staff, that can be a real plus. If not, they should look for an emergency department staffed by physicians trained in emergency medicine. Often, a brief discussion with the child's primary-care provider will help parents determine which emergency department is most suitable for emergency care of their child."

More information

Learn more about kids and the emergency room from

SOURCES: Karen Sheehan, M.D., medical director, Injury Prevention and Research, Children's Memorial Hospital, and medical director, Injury Free Coalition for Kids in Chicago; James G. Linakis, M.D., Ph.D., research associate, Injury Prevention Center, Rhode Island Hospital, pediatric emergency physician, Hasbro Children's Hospital, and associate professor, emergency medicine and pediatrics, Brown Medical School, Providence, R.I.; Dec. 3, 2007, statement, American College of Emergency Physicians; December 2007 Pediatrics

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Eligard(R) six-month formulation successfully completes European approval procedure
2. Different HIV rates among gay men and straight people not fully explained by sexual behavior
3. AHFs Innovative Stay Negative HIV Prevention Campaign Successfully Breaks Through to Target Audience
4. City Cleaners Win 16% Wage Hike and Fully Employer-Paid Family Health Care
5. Health Campaign to Protect Indonesian Children Successfully Completed
6. Ono and Medarex Announce Allowance of Investigational New Drug Application for Fully Human Anti-PD1 Antibody
7. How one virus uses mimicry to replicate successfully
8. Nepstar Chain Drugstore (NPD) Greenshoe Fully Exercised
9. Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics Initiates Program for Late Stage Liver Cirrhosis and Reports Strong Progress in AMT-011 With Trial Fully Recruited and European and US Submission On Track for First Half of 2008
10. Worlds Largest Fully Integrated, Global Health Marketing and Communications Group Appoints Global Leadership Team
11. HHS Announces $75 Million in Supplemental Funding to States for Pandemic Flu Preparedness
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Most ERs Not Fully Prepared for Pediatric Patients
(Date:11/25/2015)... Ill. (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... and potentially more aggressive than those found on mammography, according to a study ... findings of additional cancers not seen on mammography may necessitate a change in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... The holiday season ... and pleasing the palates of attendees is of the utmost importance. Whether you ... seasonal get-together, give these recipes a try this holiday season. , Turkey Croquettes ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... recognized once again for its stellar workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati office ... , Medical Solutions’ Cincinnati office was named a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dr. John ... to learn more about hair loss treatment with the Capillus272™ Pro laser therapy cap. ... solution for thicker and fuller hair, without the need for surgery, prescription pills, or ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November ... United States District Court of Connecticut on behalf of a home health care worker ... all current or former home health care workers employed by Humana, Inc., Humana at ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) ... (BLA) with the United States ... a biosimilar candidate to Humira ® (adalimumab). Amgen ... submitted to the FDA and represents Amgen,s first BLA ... E. Harper , M.D., executive vice president of Research ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015 AAIPharma Services Corp./Cambridge ... of at least $15.8  Million to expand its ... NC . The expansion will provide additional ... the growing demands of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology ... expansion will provide up to 40,000 square feet ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... MELVILLE, N.Y. , Nov. 25, 2015  Henry ... products and services to office-based dental, medical and animal ... Dental (GNYDM) Meeting the Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion ... industry,s broadest array of open solutions designed to help ... Click here for a schedule of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: