Objectives: Frequently performing procedures assists in skill maintenance. This study was conducted to characterize frequency and types of basic and advanced prehospital interventions performed on children.
Methods: A retrospective study was conducted over a three-month period from emergency medical services (EMS) units working in central Michigan. Data were collected for age, sex, at-scene time, total run time, basic procedures (e.g., spinal immobilization), and advanced procedures (e.g., venous access).
Results: A total of 535 EMS runs were reviewed. Runs were excluded for transport refusal (105) and site-to-site transfer (6). Of the remaining 424 children, 287 received an intervention (group 1) and 137 did not (group 2). Group 1 (9.5 +/- 5.6 years) was older (p < 0.001) than group 2 (6.0 +/- 5.8 years). There was no gender predominance between group 1 and group 2 (p = 0.06). In group 1 there were 104 patients who received multiple procedures. Basic procedures (n = 382) included spinal immobilization (149), oxygen administration (123), splinting (27), wound care (24), use of military anti-shock trousers (4), and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (1). Advanced procedures (n = 112) included venous access (65), medications of all routes (26), and cardiacoximetry monitoring (21). No child had an intraosseous line started and no child was successfully intubated. Only 82 of the 424 children (19.3%) had an advanced procedure. Group 1 at-scene times (16.1 +/- 8.1 min) were longer (p < 0.001) than those of group 2 (11.1 +/- 6.6 min). Total run times for group 1 (35.7 +/- 15.5 min) were longer (p < 0.001) than those for group 2 (26.7 +/- 11.3 min).
Conclusions: Advanced EMS procedures were performed on only 19.3% of children. Opportunities to perform critical interventions (e.g., intubation) were rarely present. Children receiving procedures were older and had longer scene and run times.