Pediatric Reflections: Is Your Nearest ED Prepared to Treat Children?

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Children's Doctor

Yen Tay, MD, is an Emergency Department attending and Brooke Bauman, MBA, is an enterprise improvement analyst for the ED at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Is your practice ready for a pediatric emergency? Is your local emergency department (ED) fully equipped and ready to care for all pediatric emergencies, including resuscitative care? Who or what are the resources available to help improve your office’s or local ED’s pediatric emergency readiness?

In the last decade, Improving Pediatric Acute Care Through Simulation (ImPACTS), a collaborative, multicenter, national pediatric simulation research group, has studied pediatric emergency readiness and performance across a spectrum of healthcare settings, including pediatric primary care offices and general emergency departments (GEDs). ImPACTS found that higher quality of pediatric resuscitation was seen in GEDs with higher pediatric volumes as well as affiliation with a pediatric academic medical center and designation of both a nurse and physician pediatric emergency care coordinator.

In the primary care office setting, it was noted that while the offices had the appropriate pediatric emergency equipment, due to the extreme rarity of critical events in this setting, the office providers performed poorly in an initial set of simulated cases. However, after a brief period of continued education and with implementation of identified areas for improvement, performance improved significantly on repeat simulations.

The CHOP Outreach Center for Expertise in Pediatric Emergency Readiness and Training (ExPERT), established in July 2023, is funded by a 2-year Chair’s Initiative Grant from the Department of Pediatrics. Founded by members of the divisions of Emergency Medicine and Neonatology and the Nursing Clinical Care Department, our mission is to provide high-quality pediatric emergency readiness education and training that meets the varying needs of our community healthcare partners, including pre-hospital providers, primary care offices, general emergency departments, and community newborn care units.

By increasing our capacity to offer pediatric emergency readiness training to those providers who see infants and children routinely, and sometimes when they are critically ill or injured, we hope to increase the quality care that these children receive, regardless of where they are seen.

If you are interested in connecting with one of the ExPERT program directors for pediatric emergency readiness training , please fill out the intake form at We are excited to hear from you!

References and Suggested Readings

Yuknis ML, et. al. Improving Pediatric Acute Care Through Simulation (ImPACTS). Improving emergency preparedness in pediatric primary care offices: a simulation-based interventional study. Acad Pediatr. 2022;22(7):1167-1174.

Auerbach MA, et al. Factors associated with improved pediatric resuscitative care in general emergency departments. Pediatrics. 2023;152(2):e2022060790.

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