Pediatric emergency preparedness in the office

Am Fam Physician. 2000 Jun 1;61(11):3333-42.


Pediatric office emergencies occur more commonly than is usually perceived by family physicians, and most offices are not optimally prepared to deal with these situations. Obtaining specific training in pediatric emergencies and performing mock "codes" to check office readiness can improve the proper handling of pediatric emergencies. Common airway emergencies include foreign-body aspiration and croup. Cool mist, racemic epinephrine nebulization and dexamethasone are typical treatment measures for croup. Asthma and bronchiolitis are common causes of respiratory distress. Hypovolemic shock is the most common cause of circulatory failure in children. Intraosseous access is a simple and underutilized route for vascular access in a critically ill child. Status epilepticus is the most common neurologic emergency. Avoidance of iatrogenic respiratory depression and hypotension can be optimized by taking an algorithmic approach to the use of anticonvulsant medications. Transport of patients after initial stabilization of an emergency should always be done in a manner that provides adequate safety and monitoring.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing
  • Emergency Medicine / standards
  • Emergency Treatment / methods
  • Emergency Treatment / standards*
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Family Practice / methods
  • Family Practice / standards*
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics / standards
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy*
  • Shock / etiology
  • Shock / therapy*
  • Status Epilepticus / therapy*
  • Transportation of Patients*
  • United States