Study: Working On Children Rattles EMS Staff

Emergency medical staff sometimes get rattled and make mistakes when dealing with children, according to a new study out of Oregon Health & Science University.

OHSU Dr. Jeanne-Marie Guise interviewed more than 750 emergency workers across the nation. Those are the workers who help out after a car accident or similar emergency.

She asked them when were they most likely to make mistakes.

“The EMS workers identified that airway management, their own personal heightened anxiety when caring for children, interference with the family members. That those are the factors that they were listing as commonly contributing to patient safety events,” she said.A ‘patient safety event’ is essentially a mistake that may cause a patient harm.

Guise said medical equipment that isn’t properly sized for children can also be a problem.

She said more training that simulates pediatric emergencies could help improve care.

Her report is published in the latest issue of The Journal of Pediatrics.

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