Preparation for emergencies in the offices of pediatricians and pediatric primary care providers.
High-quality pediatric emergency care can be provided only through the collaborative efforts of many health care professionals and child advocates working together throughout a continuum of care that extends from prevention and the medical home to prehospital care, to emergency department stabilization, to critical care and rehabilitation, and finally to a return to care in the medical home. At times, the office of the pediatric primary care provider will serve as the entry site into the emergency care system, which comprises out-of-hospital emergency medical services personnel, emergency department nurses and physicians, and other emergency and critical care providers. Recognizing the important role of pediatric primary care providers in the emergency care system for children and understanding the capabilities and limitations of that system are essential if pediatric primary care providers are to offer the best chance at intact survival for every child who is brought to the office with an emergency. Optimizing pediatric primary care provider office readiness for emergencies requires consideration of the unique aspects of each office practice, the types of patients and emergencies that might be seen, the resources on site, and the resources of the larger emergency care system of which the pediatric primary care provider's office is a part. Parent education regarding prevention, recognition, and response to emergencies, patient triage, early recognition and stabilization of pediatric emergencies in the office, and timely transfer to an appropriate facility for definitive care are important responsibilities of every pediatric primary care provider. In addition, pediatric primary care providers can collaborate with out-of-hospital and hospital-based providers and advocate for the best-quality emergency care for their patients.
American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine, ; Frush, K
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