Did you know that there are new trauma center verification standards from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma that are due to be completed by September 2023? Pediatric Readiness is part of these new standards, and they apply even to adult-only certified trauma centers.
While meeting these standards to ensure you maintain your certification is important, there is a more essential reason you need to be ready to treat pediatric patients in your trauma center. According to a recent study of nearly 800,000 children cared for in almost a thousand EDs, there was a 60% to 76% lower odds of in-hospital deaths for those treated in high-readiness EDs. The study found that the type of care received extends beyond what is provided in the high readiness ED. In a follow up of nearly 550,000 of those children, the benefit of high-readiness ED treatment continued for up to a year. If all the EDs in the study had high pediatric readiness, the study concluded that an estimated 1,442 deaths may have been prevented.
Looking at the New Standards
The new standards require all trauma centers to evaluate their pediatric readiness and to develop a plan to address any deficiencies. According to the standard, pediatric readiness “refers to infrastructure, administration and coordination of care, personnel, pediatric-specific policies, equipment, and other resources that ensure the center is prepared to provide care to an injured child.”
To help you prepare for pediatric readiness, especially if you are not typically treating pediatric patients, the ASC standard references the toolkit developed by the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC). The EMSC checklist covers areas like:
- Administration and Coordination for the ED for the Care of Children
- Guidelines for improving pediatric safety support
- Guidelines for medications, equipment, and supplies
- Medication administration
- ED Policies, Procedures, and Protocols
- Physicians, Advanced Practice Providers, Nurses, and other ED Healthcare Providers
- Guidelines for QI/PI in the ED
- All-Hazard Disaster Preparedness
- Inter-facility transfers
ED teams that complete the assessment receive a pediatric readiness score and a gap report.
How SafeDose Can Help
SafeDose has created pediatric Readiness Resources, which are brief instructional pages that can be quickly accessed at the point of care. Topics currently include pediatric triage, procedures such as IO, IV, and NG tube placement, and respiratory care such as intubation or various oxygen delivery systems. We also have other resources within SafeDose such as interactive PALS algorithms, an interactive burn calculator, and on-demand medication dosing calculations.
One of the key focus areas for establishing your pediatric readiness is ensuring safe medication administration. Furthermore, your department should have pediatric equipment, supplies, and medications that are appropriate for children of all ages and sizes and are easily accessible, clearly labeled, and logically organized.
Our mission at SafeDose is to protect children and caregivers from the dangers of medication errors. We provide a trusted resource for you to turn to when a pediatric patient arrives in your ED. We have been helping clinicians, nurses, pharmacists, and educators in more than 500 hospitals become pediatric ready for emergency and everyday cases. We are listed in the EMSC toolkit as a resource under our prior name of eBroselow.
Irregular exposure to pediatric patients, leading to improper care and erroneous medication administration, is one of the most common causes of errors when it comes to pediatric patients because of the unique challenges of treating children in the ED. SafeDose’s web-based and mobile-friendly application simplifies pediatric acute care and medication administration and provides clear guidelines on pediatric safety, allowing you to confidently and safely deliver on the critical elements of care.
For more information on how we can help you be ready for the new ASC guidelines, contact me at email@example.com.
 Emergency Department Pediatric Readiness and Short-term and Long-term Mortality Among Children Receiving Emergency Care, JAMA Network, January 13, 2023. Click Here.