Friday, May 17, 2024

EMS Emergencies - Pediatric Patients

EMS providers need to be well-prepared to handle pediatric emergencies as they require specialized knowledge and skills due to the unique needs of children.

Here are some key points they should know:

  1. Respiratory Distress: Children commonly present with respiratory distress due to conditions such as asthma, bronchiolitis, or croup. EMS providers should be proficient in assessing respiratory status, administering oxygen, and managing airway obstructions.

  2. Febrile Seizures: Febrile seizures are common in young children and are often frightening for caregivers. EMS providers should know how to assess and manage febrile seizures, including ensuring adequate ventilation and preventing injury during the seizure.

  3. Trauma: Children are at risk for various types of trauma, including falls, burns, and motor vehicle accidents. EMS providers should be skilled in assessing and managing pediatric trauma, including immobilization techniques and pain management.

  4. Sepsis: Sepsis can be challenging to recognize in children, as symptoms may be nonspecific. EMS providers should be vigilant for signs of sepsis, such as fever, tachycardia, and altered mental status, and be prepared to initiate early treatment.

  5. Anaphylaxis: Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, can occur in children due to food allergies, insect stings, or medications. EMS providers should be trained in recognizing anaphylaxis and administering epinephrine as needed.

  6. Dehydration: Children are at increased risk for dehydration due to factors such as vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. EMS providers should be skilled in assessing hydration status and administering fluids as needed, especially in cases of severe dehydration.

  7. Seizures: Seizures can occur in children due to various causes, including epilepsy or febrile illnesses. EMS providers should know how to assess and manage seizures, including protecting the child from injury and administering appropriate medications if necessary.

  8. Poisoning: Accidental poisoning is a common pediatric emergency. EMS providers should be familiar with common toxins and their effects on children, as well as appropriate decontamination and treatment measures.

  9. Cardiac Arrest: While less common in children than in adults, cardiac arrest can still occur due to various causes, including congenital heart defects or respiratory failure. EMS providers should be proficient in pediatric CPR and advanced life support techniques.

  10. Communication & Family Support: Effective communication with caregivers is essential in pediatric emergencies. EMS providers should be skilled in providing clear and compassionate communication, as well as offering support to families during stressful situations.

By being knowledgeable about these common pediatric emergencies and having the necessary skills to assess and manage them effectively, EMS providers can play a crucial role in providing optimal care for children in emergency situations.

Further Reading:

Alexander, M. & Belle, R. (2017) Advanced EMT: A Clinical Reasoning Approach (2nd Ed). Hoboken, New Jersey: Pearson Education

Bledsoe, B. E., Cherry, R. A. & Porter, R. S (2023) Paramedic Care: Principles and Practice (6th Ed) Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson

Mistovich, J. J. & Karren, K. J. (2014) Prehospital Emergency Care (11th Ed). Hoboken, New Jersey: Pearson Education

Peate, I. & Sawyer, S (2024) Fundamentals of Applied Pathophysiology for Paramedics. Hoboken, New Jersey:  Wiley Blackwell

No comments: