This guest post was submitted by Division Chief John Kammeyer. He replied to the Everyday EMS Tips weekly enewsletter, “Do you know your stuff?”
Great topic and a big passion of mine. No way should you let you brain decide what medications and how much to give at a pediatric full arrest at zero dark thirty, that is great way to ensure errors. Especially for non-transport medics and slower systems. I know of few medics running enough pediatric full arrests or stat calls to be good enough to do it.
Because of the clunkiness of the Broselow Tape and its lack of perspective to EMS/field care we have developed a reference card in our system that is now in its third revision. I first developed it over eight years ago because of a lack of consistency with job aids across our system. We partnered with Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital Nurses training center to vet the card and attend their sim lab to get a sense of where our folks were with regard to pediatric medicine. We didn’t want to rely on PALS to be our pediatric training. We go back every two years as a follow to PALS, and with 250 medics and EMTs that is not easy or cheap.
The tools and practices we have put into place because of it however have had a significant measurable difference in how we approach these types of calls. Now our county uses this reference as the standard job aid and requires all county paramedics to use it. Pediatric calls will never be easy and often have poor outcome regardless of what we do, but when they occur, be it medical or trauma, our folks need the confidence, tools, and training to ensure the best possible outcome.
Central San Mateo County Training Division
Division Chief Kammeyer shared the 2013 San Mateo County EMS System Pediatric Reference card. Download a copy of the card.