Prehospital and emergency department pediatric readiness for injured children: A statement from the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma Emergency Medical Services Committee

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Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery


Injury is the leading cause of death in children older than 1 year, and children make up 22% of the population. Pediatric readiness (PR) of the nation's emergency departments and state trauma and emergency medical services (EMS) systems is conceptually important and vital to mitigate mortality and morbidity in this population. The extension of PR to the trauma community has become a focused area for training, staffing, education, and equipment at all levels of trauma center designation, and there is evidence that a higher level of emergency department PR is independently associated with long-term survival among injured children. Although less well studied, there is an associated need for EMS PR, which is relevant to the injured child who needs assessment, treatment, triage, and transport to a trauma center. We outline a blueprint along with recommendations for incorporating PR into trauma system development in this opinion from the EMS Committee of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. These recommendations are particularly pertinent in the rural and underserved areas of the United States but are directed toward all levels of professionals who care for an injured child along the trauma continuum of care.

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