HealthWatch: Pediatric Emergencies in an RV: Max to the Rescue!

Health Watch

DENVER, Colo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The people who first arrive on the scene play a vital role for patients in a medical emergency. Those responders need to stay calm under stress and pressure and deliver life-saving care. That’s tough enough when the patient in need of help is an adult but even tougher when it’s a child. Learn how a little bit of training can go a long way.
When every second counts … there’s no room for error.
Five-year-old Max’s life depends on it.
“Taking care of a pediatric patient is not just taking care of a little adult,” says Jacob Beniflah, MD, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.
Thankfully, Max is fine, because he’s not a real boy. He’s a mannequin who plays a vital role in how real children will be treated in a real-life emergency.
“Basically, it’s like working on a real patient,” confirmed Courtney Banks, EMT, Northglenn Ambulance in Commerce City, Colorado.
This 39-foot mobile training unit simulates pediatric emergencies.
“We’re the first in the country to offer that training from the ambulance to the hospital setting,” Dr. Beniflah continued.
This RV trains first responders in rural settings and hospital personnel. But it also teaches school nurses and athletic trainers.
Dr. Beniflah stated, “This kind of training isn’t something that they will really have ever seen.”
The mannequins can cry and breathe. Some turn blue and have seizures.
“We can change the patients’ vital signs. We can actually make their tongue larger to make it more difficult for them to be intubated,” shared Dr. Beniflah.
The trainees gain skills, savvy and confidence to better treat their smallest patients.
“They’re delivering patients to us with better care, frankly,” said Dr. Beniflah.
When there’s a real-life Max to save, you can bet these first responders will be ready.
Last year, this one-of-a-kind mobile training unit traveled 9,500 miles through Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas to train more than 1,000 first responders, hospital staff, school nurses, trainers and more at over 85 training events.
Contributors to this news report include: Stacie Overton Johnson, Field Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; and Rusty Reed, Videographer.

REPORT #2652

BACKGROUND: Pediatric emergency medicine has been practiced as a sub-specialty since the 1980’s. Around this time, major academic pediatric hospitals began post-residency physician fellowship training programs in the advanced clinical care of critically ill and injured children. These fellowships evolved to include a major focus on research and education, which led to formal recognition of pediatric emergency medicine as a sub-specialty by the American Boards of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine in 1991. Treatment of pediatric emergency patients has developed informally into a system of regionalized care. Critically ill children are initially stabilized at general emergency departments (EDs) and then transferred to pediatric specialty centers for definitive care, such as surgery. Until recently, there have been no nationally accepted criteria for hospital ED pediatric readiness or for regionalized pediatric care. However, some states have initiated formal pediatric facility designations using published guidelines for pediatric readiness.

TRAINING IN PEDIATRIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE: The overall number of combined training programs is on the rise. Currently there are four existing emergency medicine (EM)/peds residencies: Indiana University, University of Maryland, University of Arizona, and Louisiana State University. Each program typically accepts 2-3 residents per year who commit to 5 years of training. Though the curricula vary slightly between programs, residents typically alternate EM and pediatric clinical duties every few months. The constant variation in training experiences is one of the largest assets of this type of program. In addition to the MICU and SICU/trauma ICU experience for EM residents, they also spend several months in the NICU and PICU settings. They gain extra proficiency in managing the unstable pediatric population, including the ex-preemie or complex congenital disease patient. EM/peds graduates are board-eligible in both emergency medicine and pediatrics. A recent survey shows graduates were dispersed across 20 states and work in community EDs, freestanding children’s hospitals, and in community settings.

FASTER PEDIATRIC MEDICAL DEVICE APPROVAL: Kids are getting left behind in the latest wave of medical device invention, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working to change that. The problem is that many devices are never approved for use in infants and children, said Vasum Peiris, MD, the FDA’s chief medical officer for pediatrics and special populations. Pediatricians often use medical devices “off label,” without formal testing in children. Medical innovation for grown-ups has accelerated, while the rate of new-device approvals for children has stayed flat. “The gap is widening — our pediatric patients are becoming more vulnerable,” Peiris said. “It’s a misconception that adult approval must come first. When devices aren’t studied in kids from the very beginning, they don’t always get studied later,” continued Peiris. To try to close the divide between children and adults, Peiris is leading FDA efforts to make the approvals process for pediatric devices more efficient. For instance, his team is expanding the capacity of the FDA’s breakthrough device pathway, an expedited approval route.

? For More Information, Contact:

Rebecca Peterson
(720) 754-6638

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