All Hospital Emergency Rooms Should Be Prepared for Children

Guidelines provide information on essential equipment, supplies, medications, and personnel

THURSDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- All hospital emergency departments (EDs), including community hospital EDs, should have the appropriate medications, equipment, policies, and staff to provide effective emergency care for children, according to a policy statement published in the March issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

The statement was created in collaboration by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Emergency Physicians, and Emergency Nurses Association. The statement outlines the necessary resources to ensure children of all ages are given proper care in the ED.

The guidelines include appointment of a physician coordinator for pediatric emergency medicine and a nursing coordinator for pediatric emergency care. ED staff should be knowledgeable about the evaluation and treatment of children of all ages, and should undergo baseline and periodic competency evaluations. Pediatric care should reflect unique pediatric safety concerns including proper dosing, and should provide an environment that supports patient- and family-centered care. Guidelines are also provided relating to pediatric emergency care quality improvement and performance improvement; policies, procedures, and protocols; key ED support services; and equipment, supplies, and medications specific to pediatric patients.

"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," write the authors.

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