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This is a joint policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, abstract American College of Emergency Physicians, Emergency Nurses Association, National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physicians, and National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians on pediatric readiness in emergency medical services systems.
Ill and injured children have unique needs that can be magnified when the abstract child’s ailment is serious or life-threatening. This is especially true in the out-of-hospital environment. Providing high-quality out-of-hospital care to children requires an emergency medical services (EMS) system infrastructure designed to support the care of pediatric patients. As in the emergency department setting, it is important that all EMS agencies have the appropriate resources, including physician oversight, trained and competent staff, education, policies, medications, equipment, and supplies, to provide effective emergency care for children. Resource availability across EMS agencies is variable, making it essential that EMS medical directors, administrators, and personnel collaborate with outpatient and hospital-based pediatric experts, especially those in emergency departments, to optimize prehospital emergency care for children. The principles in the policy statement “Pediatric Readiness in Emergency Medical Services Systems” and this accompanying technical report establish a foundation on which to build optimal pediatric care within EMS systems and serve as a resource for clinical and administrative EMS leaders.