2007 Pediatric-Related News Archives

Article of Interest: Meeting Children’s Mental Health Needs (11/20/2007)

The article "Pediatricians, Psychiatrists Team Up to Meet Mental Health Needs," was recently published in AAP News (2007; 28;47-48), and may be of interest to Listserv members.

The article also includes information on the recently released Strategies for System Change in Children’s Mental Health: A Chapter Action Kit . Developed by the Task Force on Mental Health, the toolkit identifies strategies chapters can use to address mental health. (03/15/2007)

Adult Automated External Defibrillators Can Save Children’s Lives Too (11/17/2007)

According to a new American Academy of Pediatrics’ clinical report and policy statement, "the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) has saved the lives of thousands of adult cardiac arrest victims, and now AEDs are shown to be equally effective as life-saving interventions for children. Although the incidence of ventricular fibrillation (VF) in young children is low, there is a need for developing strategies to provide early defibrillation to patients younger than 8 years."

A news release announcing the policy statement is expected to be available via the AAP website .

TFAH Releases Report on Pandemic Flu and Children (11/17/2007)

In October, Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the American Academy of Pediatrics released the issue brief Pandemic Influenza: Warning, Children At-Risk . The brief explores the unique vulnerabilities children would face in the event of a flu pandemic and provides policy recommendations for reducing the impact of pandemic flu on children.

House Passes Kids in Disasters Bill (11/17/2007)

The U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 3495, the Kids in Disasters Well-being, Safety, and Health Act of 2007, by a voice vote of 402 to eight under suspension of the rules. Reserved for minor or non-controversial measures, such suspension limits debate to one hour, does not allow for amendment, and requires a two-thirds majority to pass a bill.

The bill, introduced by Congresswoman Corrine Brown (FL), would establish the National Commission on Children and Disasters. According to the bill’s summary, the commission would:

  • Assess facts and causes relating to the needs of children before, during, and after all hazards, disasters, and emergencies, including child health and welfare, affordable housing, and juvenile justice needs and emergency mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities;
  • Evaluate existing law relevant to such needs; and
  • Evaluate lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and any other relevant disaster of the past 10 years regarding policies of federal, state, and local governments and nongovernmental entities relative to addressing such needs.

In addition, it would establish a National Resource Center on Children and Disasters to serve as a clearinghouse for information and resources on issues relating to such needs and develop and maintain a website and related systems for disseminating information on such issues.

Note that the Senate must also consider and pass this measure before it can become law.

NICHQ Announces New Pediatric Audio-Conference Opportunity (10/31/2007)

The National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) announces the new program series Q-Calls: Strategies for Better Pediatric Care . Q-Calls are 60-90-minute informative and interactive audio-conferences led by nationally recognized experts in their field.

The first series of calls will include:

  • The 2007 NHLBI/NAEPP Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma;
  • Addressing Childhood Obesity in Low Income Communities;
  • The Intersection of Childhood Obesity, Disparities, Language, and Policy;
  • Obesity Prevention in the Native American Population; and
  • Pediatric Medication Safety.

The cost to participate is $99 per call or $399 for the entire series.

Largest Study of United States Children Readies for Launch (10/30/2007)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency launched the National Children’s Study, which will examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of more than 100,000 children across the United States. Study participants will be followed from before birth until age 21. The goal of the study is to improve the health and well-being of children.

U.S. Emergency Services Not Prepared to Care for Children in Disaster (10/29/2007)

The October issue of Pediatrics features the results of a recent survey of licensed U.S. prehospital EMS agencies, which revealed that most are significantly unprepared to appropriately care for pediatric patients in a disaster.

In the study," Prehospital Preparedness for Pediatric Mass-Casualty Events," researchers surveyed 1,932 EMS agencies. While most agencies (72.9 percent) reported having a written response plan for mass-casualty events, only 13.3 percent included pediatric-specific procedures. Most (69 percent) did not have a specific plan for responding to a mass-casualty event at a school, and only 19.2 percent had pediatric triage protocol. Finally, while nearly 70 percent of the agencies reported participation in a regional disaster drill during the past year, less than half of the drills included pediatric victims. The study authors recommend child-specific disaster planning throughout the United States.

Rhinoviruses Associated with Numerous Hospitalizations of Children Younger Than 5 Years (09/30/2007)

Rhinoviruses are the usual cause of the common cold. However, a new study suggests that rhinoviruses are also an important cause of childhood hospitalizations for acute respiratory infection (ARI), especially among children with a history of asthma or wheezing. For example, 26 percent of children hospitalized in two states for respiratory symptoms or fever in 2000 and 2001 tested positive for rhinovirus infections. This represented nearly five rhinovirus-associated hospitalizations per 1,000 children. Age-specific rates per 1,000 children were 17.6 for infants up to 5 months old, 6.0 for 6- to 23-month-olds, and 2.0 for 24- to 59-month-olds.

Children with a history of wheezing or asthma were eight times more likely to be hospitalized for rhinovirus-associated respiratory infections than those without such a history (25.3 vs. 3.1 per 1,000 children).

See "Rhinovirus-associated Hospitalizations in Young Children," by E. Kathryn Miller, MD, MPH; Xiaoyan Lu; Dean D. Erdman; and others, in the March 15, 2007, Journal of Infectious Diseases 195, pp. 773-781.

Many Children Treated at Pediatric Hospitals Receive At Least One "Off-Label" Medication (09/28/2007)

Many medications prescribed for children have not been formally studied in children and most are not labeled for use in children. However, a new study indicates that many children treated at pediatric hospitals receive at least one medication "off-label" or not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for their age.

The researchers examined use of 90 drugs among children treated at 31 major children’s hospitals across the United States. At least one of the drugs was used off-label in over three-fourths (78.7 percent) of children discharged from pediatric hospitals during the study. Over a 1-year period, off-label use of the 90 drugs in the study accounted for more than $250 million and 2.3 percent of total inpatient charges.

More details are in "Off-label Drug Use in Hospitalized Children," by Samir Shah, MD; Matthew Hall, PhD; Denise Goodman, MD, MS; and others, in the March 2007 Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 161, pp. 282-290.

AHRQ and FDA to Collaborate in Largest Study Ever of Possible Heart Risks with ADHD Medications (09/28/2007)

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are collaborating on a study of prescription medications for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the potential increase in risk of cardiovascular problems. This study will include data from approximately 500,000 pediatric and adult patients that have taken medication to treat ADHD.

Use of ADHD drugs has increased in recent years among children and adults. A recent AHRQ analysis of medication expenditures found three ADHD drugs (Concerta, Strattera, and Adderall) ranked among the top five drugs prescribed for children ages 17 years and younger.

Study on Pediatric Psychiatric Referrals Published (09/15/2007)

According to the results of a recently published study, researchers found that children screened in the emergency department for unrecognized mental health problems are very unlikely to follow-up for a mental health evaluation with or without an enhanced referral. "Failure of Psychiatric Referrals from the Pediatric Emergency Department" was published August 15, in BMC Emergency Medicine 2007, 7:12.

Abstract: Recognition of mental illness in the pediatric emergency department (PED) followed by brief, problem-oriented interventions may improve health-care seeking behavior and quality of life. The objective of this study was to compare the frequency of mental health follow up after an enhanced referral compared to a simple referral in children presenting to the PED with unrecognized mental health problems.

Like all articles in BMC journals, this peer-reviewed article can be downloaded, printed, and distributed freely for any purposes. Articles in BMC journals are listed in PubMed and archived at PubMed Central.

NHTSA Posts Findings from First-ever Survey on Booster Seat Use (09/03/2007)

The findings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) first-ever National Survey on the Usage of Booster Seats (NSUBS) are now posted online. The study is NHTSA’s first formal foray into the development of a reliable scientific estimate of booster seat use in the United States.

Three "Research Notes" analyzing and describing the NSUBS results are posted: Booster Seat Use in 2006; Child Restraint Use in 2006—Demographic Results; and Child Restraint Use in 2006—Use of Correct Restraint Types. A fourth Research Note, Preliminary Data Indicate That Booster Seat Laws Increase Child Safety Seat Use, has been published in conjunction with the NSUBS findings.

The NSUBS’ primary purpose is to estimate booster seat use among 4- to 7-year-olds, but it also collects very rich information on the restraint use of all children under age 13, and on race/ethnicity results on restraint use among all ages. In particular, the NSUBS provides the best data to date on the premature graduation of children ages 0 to 12 to restraint types that are inappropriate for their height or weight.

HHS Announces $896.7 Million in Funding to States for Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response (08/28/2007)

In a news release dated July 17, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the department has provided another $896.7 million to the states, territories, and four metropolitan areas to improve and sustain their ability to respond to public health emergencies.

HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is coordinating the funding to be used for preparedness and response to all-hazards public health emergencies, including terrorism, pandemic influenza, and other naturally-occurring public health emergencies. This funding is in addition to the $430 million made available in June to strengthen the ability of hospitals and other health care facilities to respond to bioterror attacks, infectious diseases, and natural disasters that may cause mass casualties.

MMWR QuickStats: Hospitalization for Respiratory Diseases Among Children (08/20/2007)
Reprinted from the July 20, 2007, issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In 2005, approximately 25 percent of the 2.4 million hospitalizations for children aged <15 years were for respiratory diseases, the largest category of hospitalization diagnoses in this age group. Of these, 31 percnet were for pneumonia, 25 percent for asthma, 25 percent for acute bronchitis and bronchiolitis, and 19 percent for other respiratory diseases, including croup and chronic disease of tonsils and adenoids.

See " Percentage Distribution of Hospitalizations for Types of Respiratory Diseases Among Children Aged <15 Years", National Hospital Discharge Survey, United States, 2005".

New Hampshire Mental Health Professionals to Be Trained to Provide Trauma Care to Kids (08/03/2007)
Reprinted from the Nashua Telegraph, 7/23/07.

For the first time, the state of New Hampshire will train professionals in the state’s community mental health center to help children cope with trauma such as the death of a parent or sexual abuse. The Dartmouth Trauma Interventions Research Center received a $450,000 grant from the Endowment for Health, the state’s largest health foundation, to provide up to seven professionals from each of the 10 community mental health centers with training via teleconference on "trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy." Currently, many children have to wait several weeks at the centers for initial mental health assessments due to a lack of trained professionals.

Pennsylvania Releases New Statewide BLS/ALS Protocols; Both Highlight Pediatrics (07/30/2007)

On July 1, 2007, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health released its Advance Life Support (ALS) Protocols . The statewide ALS protocols are inclusive of pediatric specifics. In 2006, the state released its BLS protocols, which also incorporated the unique needs of infants and children.

Revised Peds EM Teaching Tools Available for Order (07/19/2007)

The Revised Fourth Edition of the APLS Instructor’s ToolKit CD-ROM is now available for order. It contains 30 ready-to-use PowerPoint presentations based on the APLS (Advanced Pediatric Life Support) textbook, along with handouts, instructor notes, skill station instructions, and post-tests. Use these tools to teach pediatric emergency medicine to any physician audience.

The content has been revised to reflect the current American Heart Association resuscitation guidelines and algorithms and relates to the Revised Fourth Edition of the APLS student textbook.

Pediatric Preparedness Implementation Kit for Hospitals Now Available Via Web (07/05/2007)

Is your hospital prepared to deal with all the pediatric emergencies that come through the door? The Care of Children in the Emergency Department: Guidelines for Preparedness Implementation Kit, now available as a downloadable file from the American College of Emergency Physicians’ (ACEP) web site, will help administrators and other hospital personnel implement essential equipment and staffing recommendations so their emergency department will be ready to provide the best pediatric care possible.

The CD includes the American Academy of Pediatrics/ACEP-approved Care of Children in the Emergency Department: Guidelines for Preparedness ; the editorial "Guidelines for Preparedness of Emergency Departments That Care for Children: A Call to Action;" sample policies for the care of children in the emergency department; clinical care guidelines; policy statements; referenced journal articles; a pediatric resuscitation and emergency medication calculator; and other related resources, including an evaluation form.

Marianne Gausche-Hill, MD, recently completed an interventional study of hospitals to evaluate the impact of the Implementation Kit on preparedness and quality of care. Handouts pertaining to the Annual EMSC Grantee Meeting presentation about that study are available by contacting the EMSC National Resource Center .

NIH Outlines Plans for Study of Pediatric Seizures (07/01/2007)

During a Plenary Session at the Annual EMSC Grantee Meeting on June 19, Duane Alexander, MD, Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), discussed plans for a large-scale national study to determine which of the two medications Lorazepam and Diazepam is the safest, most effective treatment for children with status epilepticus.

According to Dr. Alexander, "Currently, the choice of treatment for status epilepticus depends upon the best judgment of the treating physician . . . . The Pediatric Seizure Study seeks to provide the most definitive information possible on which medication offers the greater chance for successful treatment."

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) NICHD is funding the study in accordance with the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA). Under the BPCA, the NIH consults with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine which approved drugs should be prioritized for further testing in children. The Pediatric Seizure Study is the most comprehensive of its kind with 11 hospitals throughout the country participating.

E-Newsletter Focuses on Peds; Includes Articles by EMSC Colleagues (06/08/2007)

Urgent Matters – an initiative by George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services to improve hospital patient flow and reduce emergency department crowding – released its latest Patient Flow E-Newsletter Volume 4, Issue 2, which focuses on "Putting Kids First." The issue includes several articles by many well-known EMSC colleagues, including Joseph Wright, MD, MPH, and Marianne Gausche-Hill, MD.

Among others, articles appearing in the issue include:

  • Preparing the Emergency Department for Pediatric Patients;
  • Child-Ready Emergency Departments: Creating Customized Pediatric Facilities, Equipment, and Care;
  • Educational Toolkit for Pediatric Emergency Preparedness;
  • Leadership Needed: Hospitals Must Work Together to Improve Pediatric Emergency Care;
  • ACEP Reports on the Growing Interest in Pediatric Emergency Medicine.

NAEMSE Releases Draft EMS Education Standards, Grantee Comments Encouraged (06/08/2007)

The National Association of EMS Educators (NAEMSE) has posted its first drafts of the National EMS Education Standards for review and comment. The effort represents the next step in implementing the EMS Education Agenda for the Future: A Systems Approach.

The Standards for all four levels of EMS personnel—Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Advanced EMT (AEMT), and Paramedic—are available. The EMSC National Resource Center encourages all EMSC grantees and colleagues to review the material and share your comments, suggestions, and observations with the project team.

Note: The National EMS Education Standards are now available.

Small Infants Have Greater Survival Rate in High-Level Intensive Care Facilities (06/08/2007)

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development released new findings that show that very low birthweight infants (weighing less than 1500 grams or 3.3 pounds) are significantly more likely to survive when delivered in hospitals with high-level neonatal intensive care units that care for more than 100 of these newborns annually than are those delivered in comparable facilities that provide care to fewer than 100 of these children every year.

The study examined differences in death rates across hospitals with different NICU levels and their volume (how many very low birthweight infants they care for in a year). Despite the increased survival rate for very low birthweight infants in large, high-level NICUs, the researchers found that an increasing number of high-risk newborns are receiving care in low-volume, mid-level units.

The study appeared in the May 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. For more information, read the press release about the study or the abstract in PubMed.

GAO Releases Testimony on Schools Emergency Management Preparedness (05/24/2007)

In testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) Director of Education, Workforce, and Income Security Cornelia Ashby released the statement, "Emergency Management: Status of School Districts’ Planning and Preparedness."

The May 17, 2007, statement, which received coverage in USA Today, CNN, and many additional media outlets, discusses preliminary findings related to GAO’s review of emergency management in school districts. According to Ashby’s statement," An estimated 56 percent of all school districts have not employed any procedures in their plans for continuing student education in the event of an extended school closure, such as might occur during a pandemic, and many do not include procedures for special needs students. Fewer than half of districts with emergency plans involve community partners when developing and updating these plans. Finally, school districts are generally not training with first responders or community partners on how to implement their school district emergency plans."

The EMSC National Resource Center would like to remind its readership that New Mexico’s EMSC program developed the Virtual School Nurse and EMS Learning Project, an online emergency preparedness training course for school nurses. Course modules include: emergency preparedness program planning; EMS continuum of care; medical response plans; assessment and triage; special emergencies and gadgets; emergency care of the airway, spine, and musculoskeletal; and patient assessment. Also included are 10 scenarios.

GAO Releases Pediatric Drug Research Report (05/24/2007)

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released last week the following report: Pediatric Drug Research: The Study and Labeling of Drugs for Pediatric Use under the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act.

Vermont Ranked Number One In Reduction in Childhood Unintentional Injury Deaths (05/17/2007)

The recently released Safe Kids U.S. Summer Safety Ranking Report examines the unintentional injury death rates of children ages 0 to 14 in the 50 states and the District of Columbia during the summer months and the change in those death rates over a 5-year period (2000-2005). The report focuses on the five major summer risk areas: drowning, biking, falls, motor vehicle occupant injuries, and pedestrian injuries.

According to the study’s researchers, Vermont ranked number one, with a childhood unintentional injury death rate below the national average and a 60.3 percent reduction in the death rate over the relevant five year period. The next highest-ranking states were New Jersey, District of Columbia, New York, and Delaware.

The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation conducted the study on behalf of Safe Kids USA.

New Bill Would Fund Development of Pediatric Quality-of-Care Measures (05/12/2007)

Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) last week introduced a bill (S 1226) that would authorize $100 million over five years for investment in private-sector development and tests of pediatric quality of care measures, CQ HealthBeat reports.

In addition, the legislation would allow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to fund demonstrations of evidence-based practices to improve the quality-of-care for children in hospitals. National Association of Children’s Hospitals President and CEO Lawrence Andrews said, "It is a first step in eliminating the disparity between adults and children when it comes to measuring and reporting on health care quality" (Kimitch, CQ HealthBeat , 4/27).

EDs with Physician Residents Are Less Effective In Determining Which Children Require Hospital Admission (05/05/2007)
(Reprinted from AHRQ’s online newsletter Research Activities , March 2006)

More than 30 million children are treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments (EDs) each year. EDs staffed with physician residents in training are less effective in determining which children require hospital admission and which can be safely released, concludes a new study. EDs with residents admitted children at a rate nearly 14 times higher than expected compared with nonresident hospitals, after adjusting for children’s illness severity. EDs with residents also had far more children returning to the ED within 72 hours after discharge, an indicator that they were discharged from the ED prematurely.

Full citation: Chamberlain, James; Patel, Kantilal; and Pollack, Murray. "Association of Emergency Department Care Factors with Admission and Discharge Decisions for Pediatric Patients." Journal of Pediatrics 149, pp. 644-649, 2006.

A Color-Coded Tape Helps EMTs Calculate Correct Epinephrine Dose for Children In Cardiopulmonary Arrest (05/04/2007)
Reprinted from AHRQ’s online newsletter Research Activities , March 2006

Children who suffer cardiopulmonary arrest outside the hospital are three times more likely to receive the correct dose of epinephrine from emergency medical technicians (EMTs) when EMTs are required to use a color-coded tape that helps calculate the correct medication dose, according to a new study.

In 2001, the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency mandated that, as part of its LA Kids Program, paramedics would use the Broselow tape to quickly identify the correct medication dose to give to children in emergencies. The Broselow tape measures a child’s height in color zones that correlate with body weight. In this way, the tape helps EMTs to rapidly estimate a child’s body weight, calculate weight-based drug doses (children’s doses are based on body weight), and choose the correct size of resuscitation equipment for children.

Full citation: Kaii, Amy; Gausche-Hill, Marianne; Conrad, Heather; et al. "Emergency Medical Services System Changes Reduce Pediatric Epinephrine Dosing Errors In the Prehospital Setting." Pediatrics 118(4), pp. 1493-1500.

Study Findings: Family Members Do Not Disrupt Care When Present During Invasive Procedures (04/04/2007)

The objective of this study was to determine whether family members remaining with pediatric patients during invasive procedures interfere with delivery of care.

Methods: The authors conducted a prospective observational study of consecutive patients younger than 18 years of age undergoing invasive procedures in the emergency department over a one-year period. Conclusion: In this study, family members remaining with children during invasive procedures were not a risk for disruption of patient care.

Full Citation: Sacchetti, A; Paston, C; and Carraccio, C. "Family Members Do Not Disrupt Care When Present During Invasive Procedures." Academic Emergency Medicine , May 2005, Vol. 12, No. 5, pp 477-479.

NCROI Issues Report on Coping with Disasters for Children (04/04/2007)

Across the country, natural disaster, man-made crises, or medical events can affect the routine ways child welfare agencies operate and serve children, youth, and families. It is especially important for agencies caring for vulnerable populations to do what they can to prepare for these disasters.

Fortunately, many of the steps agencies might take to prepare for disasters can also strengthen systems critical to ongoing agency management. Coping with Disasters: A Framework for Child Welfare Agencies , has a dual purpose: to help managers think through what they might put in place to cope with disasters; and to highlight how taking these steps can improve systems for serving children and families.

A copy of the report is available on the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NCROI) web site .

NHTSA-Funded Paper Published on Determining Cost of an EMS System (03/15/2007)

“A Comprehensive Framework for Determining the Cost of an Emergency Medical Services System” was published in the March 2007 issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine . The full citation is as follows:

Lerner EB, Nichol G, Spaite DW, Garrison HG, Maio RF: A Comprehensive Framework for Determining the Cost of an Emergency Medical Services System. Ann Emerg Med . 2007;49:304-313.

Comprehensive Manual Targeting CDR Teams Now Available (03/15/2007)

The National Center for Child Death Review has released a comprehensive, 190-page manual, titled “A Program Manual for Child Death Review”. It includes the information and tools needed to establish, manage, and evaluate effective child death review (CDR) teams and team meetings, and is meant to serve as a foundation for local community CDR activity.

Each chapter contains information on a specific aspect of the review process. The final chapter includes sample documents to make the process of establishing a team and conducting reviews easier. The last chapter also includes “Guides to Effective Child Death Reviews,” one-page descriptions organized by cause of death.

The manual is available free of charge as a downloadable PDF document.

NIHCM Releases Issue Paper on Reducing Health Disparities Among Children (03/15/2007)

The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation has released "Reducing Health Disparities Among Children: Strategies and Programs for Health Plans," an issue paper highlighting public and private strategies to reduce disparities, including innovative health plan efforts across the country.

The paper is intended to inform stakeholders—including policy makers, health care professionals, health plans, and health care purchasers and beneficiaries—about the roots of health disparities and the current state of health disparities among children. The paper also includes an appendix describing current programs addressing disparities and selected resources for additional information and research.

NAEMSP Releases Position Paper on Intraosseous Vascular Access (02/21/2007)

The National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) has released a position paper on intraosseous vascular access in the out-of-hospital setting , a primary prehospital intervention generally used in some locales for children.

Complete citation: Fowler R, Gallagher JV, Isaacs SM, Ossman E, Pepe P, Wayne M, The Role of Intraosseous Vascular Access in the Out-of-Hospital Environment (Resource Document to NAEMSP Position Statement), Prehospital Emergency Care , Vol 11, No. 1, Jan-Mar 2007, pp 63-66.

National EMS Advisory Council Seeks Membership Nominations (02/07/2007)

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters announced the establishment of a National EMS Advisory Committee to provide advice and recommendations regarding EMS matters to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Emergency Medical Services. The Council will represent a cross section of the diverse agencies, organizations, and individuals involved in EMS activities and programs in the U.S. Members will be appointed to two-year terms.

The Council is seeking members to represent the following fields: volunteer EMS providers; fire-based (career) EMS providers; private (career, non-fire based) EMS providers; hospital-based EMS providers/administrators; tribal EMS providers/administrators; air medical EMS providers; local EMS service directors/administrators; EMS medical directors; EMS educators; public safety call-takers/dispatchers (911); EMS data managers; EMS researchers; emergency nurses; emergency physicians; trauma surgeons; pediatric emergency physicians; state EMS directors; state highway safety directors; hospital administrators; public health practitioners; emergency management; state homeland security directors; consumers (not directly affiliated with an EMS or healthcare organization); and state or local legislative bodies (e.g., city/county councils; state legislatures).

Interested individuals can nominate themselves or others by submitting an electronic application using the DOT online Document Management System (Docket Number 26143). All nominations must be received by February 16, 2007.

Now Available: New Edition of Guidelines for Air and Ground Transport of Neonatal and Pediatric Patients (01/24/2007)

The third edition of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Guidelines for Air and Ground Transfer of Neonatal Pediatric Patients is now available through the AAP bookstore.

The revised edition includes many new topics, as well as core material that has proven so useful over the past 10 years. Chapters and topics include: organization, administration, team composition, training and assessment, communications, equipment and medications, legal issues, quality improvement, safety, vehicle requirements, altitude physiology and stresses of flight, family-centered care, marketing, outreach, financial considerations, database development, research, ethical considerations, accreditations, international transport, telemedicine, stress management and debriefing, integration with EMS, and unique transport considerations.

Also included are transport and EMTALA forms, transport position descriptions, transfer agreements, database elements, policies and procedures, and a comprehensive list of transport resources.

Infant Safety Seat Study Recalled (01/24/2007)

Consumer Reports (CR) is withdrawing its recent report on infant car seats pending further tests of the performance of those seats in side-impact collisions. A C R press release dated January 18 states that a “substantive issue” affecting results was brought to their attention by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

NHTSA reports that side impact tests conducted by CR did not simulate 38.5 mph as stated in the report, but instead simulated speeds in excess of 70 mph. When NHTSA tested the same seats at a simulated 38.5 mph, seats did not detach from their bases.

The original report, which appeared in February 2007 issue, will be updated to include any necessary findings from the new tests. The revised report will be published in an upcoming issue.

$1.4 Million Available to Fund Mental Health Programs for Children and Adolescents (01/03/2007)

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently announced the availability of funds for grants to enable those affected by mental illness to influence states to orient mental health programs to the needs of children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances and their families. It is expected that $1.4 million will be available to fund 21 grants for the Statewide Family Network (SFN) Program. SFN builds on earlier programs that helped establish a child and family focus in programs serving children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances.

Eligible applicants include domestic public and private nonprofit entities, including faith-based organizations; tribal organizations; and currently funded SFN grantees. Applications for SM-07-001 are available at Grants.gov . Application must be received by January 31, 2007.

CSN Releases Publications on Cost-Saving Facts (01/03/2007)

Children’s Safety Network’s (CSN) Economics and Data Analysis Resource Center released three new publications: "Childhood Injury: Cost and Prevention Facts", "Injury Prevention: What Works?", and "Child and Adolescent Violence.”

The first document contains several fact sheets that focus on cost savings from bicycle helmets, child safety seats, poison control centers, sobriety checkpoints, and current speed limits. “Injury Prevention: What Works?” summarizes the incidence and cost savings of interventions to prevent injuries due to motor vehicles, impaired driving, open-flame/burns, and violence. It also includes cost savings realized by health/miscellaneous services and substance abuse prevention programs. The last publication on child and adolescent violence addresses incidence and costs and risk factors and prevention.