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Prehospital Emergency Care








Children have unique medical needs compared to adults. Emergency medical services personnel need proper equipment and training to care for children. The purpose of this study is to characterize emergency medical services pediatric basic life support to help better understand the needs of children transported by ambulance. Pediatric basic life support patients were identified in this retrospective descriptive study. Descriptive statistics were used to examine incident location, possible injury, cardiac arrest, resuscitation attempted, chief complaint, primary symptom, provider's primary impression, cause of injury, and procedures performed during pediatric basic life support calls using the largest aggregate of emergency medical services data available, the 2013 National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) Public Release Research Data Set. Pediatric calls represented 7.4% of emergency medical services activations. Most pediatric patients were male (49.8%), White (40.0%), and of non-Hispanic origin (56.5%). Most incidents occurred in the home. Injury, cardiac arrest, and resuscitation attempts were highest in the 15 to 19 year old age group. Global complaints (37.1%) predominated by anatomic location and musculoskeletal complaints (26.9%) by organ system. The most common primary symptom was pain (30.3%) followed by mental/psychiatric (13.4%). Provider's top primary impression was traumatic injury (35.7%). The most common cause of injury was motor vehicle accident (32.3%). The most common procedure performed was patient assessment (27.4%). Median EMS system response time was 7 minutes (IQR: 5?12). Median EMS scene time was 12 minutes (IQR: 8?19). Median transport time was 14 minutes (IQR: 8?24). Median EMS total call time was 51 minutes (IQR: 33?77). The epidemiology of pediatric basic life support can help to guide efforts in both emergency medical services operations and training.


Originally published online: November 15, 1015.

Original Publication Citation

Diggs, L. A., Sheth-Chandra, M., & De Leo, G. (2016). Epidemiology of pediatric prehospital basic life support care in the united states. Prehospital Emergency Care, 20(2), 230-238. doi:10.3109/10903127.2015.1076099


0000-0003-4822-2350 (Diggs)