Peadiatric emergencies are often the most difficult cases that paramedics have to attend. Ask any paramedic what the worst job that you fear attending and he or she will not doubt say – a seriously injured child or a paediatric cardiac arrest. Paediatric emergencies are profoundly difficult for paramedics to attend because of the heightened emotions associated with a seriously injured or ill children; difficulty in communication; are anatomically and physiologically very different from adult patients; and although children compensate very well, rarely decompensate as an adult would prior to cardiac arrest.
Treating children in an emergency is further made difficult by their parents. Ask any paramedic where most of their focus will be spent when treating a child (irrespective of how sick the child is) and they will reply that the hysterical parents will most likely take up most of their time. Reassurance is important for paramedics to use at any emergency, but when treating a child it is even more important. Explain to the parents what is happening and reassure them.
These are my paediatric emergency notes to help paramedics remember the basics of treating children.
Assessing children in general:
Common medical conditions and injuries involving children: