As the development of emergency medicine and acute care systems is well underway globally with over 50 countries where the specialty is fully recognised and another 30 or 40 more working to establish their own systems, the development of Paediatric Emergency Medicine systems is lagging. In the United States, a thirteen year gap existed between the recognition of emergency medicine and paediatric emergency medicine care, and it became apparent in many ways that recognition, understanding, and management priorities in paediatric patients do differ from the approach to adult counterparts.
We are reaching a point in which the establishment of acute care systems globally is imminent, we know the general challenges that regions and countries have, and we need to identify specific challenges related to our individual environments.
Within the Paediatric Emergency Medicine Special Interest Group (PEMSIG) of IFEM, we have undergone a similar transformation, from a small group back in 2010 of eight individuals; we now have a membership of almost 100 paediatric care clinicians, representing over two dozen countries and multiple national associations.
It is time to realise that as emergency and acute care systems develop, we need to include actively the awareness of the important differences that children require in their care. We can no longer allow years’ worth of knowledge and action gap before we realise that parallel to the development of adult systems, children need to be prioritised and their care should evolve at equal pace as their adult counterparts.
In this document, you will find a guide, a consensus aimed at assisting hospitals around the world in defining minimum standards of care for children in the Emergency Department that has been developed and updated to be a useful resource for your institution.
Camilo E Gutierrez
MD, FACEP FAAEM
Chair, IFEM Paediatric Emergency Medicine Special Interest Group