2010 Pediatric-Related News

AHRQ Seeks Public Comments on Priorities for the CHIPRA Pediatric Quality Measures Program (12/16/2010)

The Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality (AHRQ) is seeking public comments on priority quality measure topics and methodological enhancements in health care services affecting children's health, including perinatal measures for the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) Pediatric Quality Measures Program (PQMP). All comments are due by January 14, 2011, and should be sent to CHIPRAqualitymeasures@AHRQ.hhs.gov. For more information, read the Federal Register.

Pediatric Issues in Disaster Management, Parts 1 and 2 (12/14/2010)

Although children and infants are likely to be victims in a disaster and are more vulnerable in a disaster than adults, disaster planning and management has often overlooked the specific needs of pediatric patients. The American Journal of Disaster Medicine published a series of articles that discusses key components of disaster planning and management for pediatric patients. The first part of this three-part pediatric series addresses the emergency medical system from the field to the hospital and surge capacity including the impact of crowding. The second part addresses the appropriate set up and functioning of evacuation centers and family separation and reunification. The third part, which has yet to be published, deals with special pediatric populations: the special healthcare needs patient and mental health issues.

FEMA and ACEP Online Training: Building Collaborate Disaster Planning Processes (12/07/2010)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) have designed a free integrative training session covering "the development and maintenance of pre-incident plans ensuring the efficient distribution of patients, the sharing of information and resources, and the coordination between state and local agencies with hospitals and others responding to the medical needs of disaster victims."

The course is directed toward those working in emergency management agencies and healthcare organizations, especially in small communities and rural areas, who have primary job responsibilities other than disaster preparedness. It is also useful for those in public health, EMS, fire services, and other organizations involved in disaster preparedness.

HHS Announces Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee Members (12/06/2010)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius this week announced the names of members who will serve on the Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC), the first tribal advisory committee established to advise the Secretary in the history of HHS. This is one of several Tribal initiatives undertaken this year that seeks to make significant progress towards reshaping the way that the Department works with Tribes.

The Committee is comprised of one primary representative from each of the 12 areas of the Indian Health Service, as well as five at-large national representatives.

HHS Unveils Healthy People 2020 (12/02/2010)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today unveiled Healthy People 2020, the new 10-year agenda for improving the Nation's health. HHS is also promoting a challenge for technology application developers to create a "myHealthyPeople" application. The goal of the app is to create an innovative approach to help communities track their progress using Healthy People objectives and targets. For more information on the contest, please visit the Challege.gov website.

AAP and MCHB Release "Building Your Medical Home" Toolkit (11/29/2010)

A pediatric care plan template is one of many customizable practice tools featured in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Building Your Medical Home toolkit, available free online. The toolkit supports the development and/or improvement of a pediatric medical home. To download the tool, create a free user account at the AAP Building Your Medical Home toolkit website and go to Building Block 3: Care Delivery Management.

Ambulance Personnel Perceptions of Near Misses and Adverse Events in Pediatric Patients (11/24/2010)

Prehospital Emergency Care published a study which aimed to identify emergency medical services (EMS) provider perceptions of factors that may affect the occurrence, identification, reporting, and reduction of near misses and adverse events in the pediatric EMS patient. This study included a subgroup analysis of a qualitative study examining the nature of near misses and adverse events in EMS as it relates to pediatric prehospital care. Complementary qualitative methods of focus groups, interviews, and anonymous event reporting were used to collect results, and emerging themes were identified and assigned to specific analytic domains. This study provides a foundation on which to base additional studies of both a qualitative and quantitative nature that will shed further light on the factors contributing to the occurrence, reporting, and mitigation of adverse events and near misses in the pediatric EMS setting.

Highlights from NIH Roundtables on Emergency Research (11/19/2010)

In 2003, the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Future of Emergency Care identified a need to enhance the research base for emergency care. As a result, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) formed an NIH Task Force on Research in Emergency Medicine. Members of the NIH Task Force and academic leaders in emergency care participated in three roundtable discussions to identify key research questions essential to advancing the scientific underpinnings of emergency care and to discuss the barriers and best means to advance research by exploring the role of research networks and collaboration between the NIH and the emergency care community. The November 2010 issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine features the findings of each roundtable discussion: Emergency Trauma Research, Medical-Surgical Emergency Research, and Neurologic and Psychiatric Emergencies.

Awareness and Utilization of EMS by Limited English Proficient Caregivers of Pediatric Patients in Prehospital Emergency Care (11/18/2010)

Previous studies have shown that limited-English-proficient (LEP) patients are less likely to utilize health care services. The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge and perceived barriers to utilization of emergency medical services (EMS) by LEP caregivers of children served by an urban EMS system. In this study, a convenience sample of caregivers of children presenting to the emergency department were prospectively surveyed. The study concluded that caregivers with limited English proficiency are less aware of and are less likely to utilize EMS for their children. Barriers to utilization include concerns of cost and communication with the operator.

Maternal and Child Health State Snapshots Now Updated (11/16/2010)

The Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) annually publishes, "Title V: A Snapshot of Maternal and Child Health." This online resource presents maternal and child health data from the 59 states and jurisdictions, which receive Title V Block Grant funds from MCHB. Some of the data presented includes: MCH performance measures progress; state block grant expenditures; and family participation in children with special health care needs programs.

Webinar on Medical Homes and Childhood Asthma: A Key Opportunity for Progress (11/14/2010)

The Clinical Directors Network will host a webinar at 3:00 p.m. (EST) on December 2, 2010, to highlight the recent policy brief by researchers at George Washington University titled The Affordable Care Act, Medical Homes and Childhood Asthma: A Key Opportunity for Progress. The report focuses on how the medical home model facilitates comprehensive, patient-centered care by fostering partnerships among and between patients, their providers (including pediatricians), and other primary care clinicians, specialists, emergency, and other service providers. This report reviews the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provisions that advance the medical home concept in public and private health insurance and recommends ways to utilize the medical home to advance high quality treatment and effective asthma management. The report also highlights the potential role of community health centers, one of the providers PPACA designates as a health home, in treating children with asthma.

EMS Approved as an Emergency Medicine Subspecialty (11/11/2010)

The American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) has approved EMS as a recognized emergency medicine subspecialty. ABEM has formed an EMS Examination Task Force composed of 12 EMS physicians to develop the EMS subspecialty examination and maintenance of certification program, which may start as early as the fall of 2013. EMS becomes the sixth subspecialty available to ABEM diplomates along with Medical Toxicology, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Sports Medicine, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. More information is available through an ABEM press release.

ED Visits Involving Accidental Ingestion of Drugs by Children Aged 5 or Younger (11/09/2010)

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently published the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) Report highlighting the surveillance of emergency department (ED) visits involving accidental ingestion of drugs by children aged 5 or younger. In 2008, there were an estimated 100,340 ED visits involving accidental ingestion of drugs, primarily pharmaceuticals; of these, 69,121 (68.9 percent) were made by patients aged 5 or younger. Drugs that act on the central nervous system (CNS drugs), such as acetaminophen products, ibuprofen products, and benzodiazepines, were involved in 40.8 percent of the ED visits involving accidental ingestion of drugs among patients aged 5 or younger, with the largest percentages coming from pain relievers (21.1 percent) and drugs used to treat anxiety and insomnia (11.6 percent).

CDC Provides Update on Public Health Preparedness by States (11/08/2010)

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released Public Health Preparedness: Strengthening the Nation's Emergency Response State by State, a report that presents data on a broad range of preparedness and response activities occurring at state and local levels across the nation. The report features national data and fact sheets for the 50 states and four directly funded localities (Chicago, the District of Columbia, Los Angeles County, and New York City), which are supported by the CDC's Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Cooperative Agreement.

ED Visits for Medical Device-Associated Adverse Events Among Children (11/04/2010)

Pediatrics published a study whose purpose was to provide national estimates of emergency department (ED) visits for medical device-associated adverse events (MDAEs) in the pediatric population, and to characterize these events further. ED medical record reports from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program database from January 1, 2004, through December 21, 2005, were reviewed. MDAEs among pediatric patients were identified, and data were abstracted. National estimates for pediatric MDAEs were determined according to medical specialty, device category and class, injury diagnosis, and patient characteristics and outcome. This study provides national estimates of pediatric MDAEs resulting in ED visits and highlights the need to develop interventions to prevent pediatric device-related injuries.

New Threat Scenarios Added to AHRQ's Emergency Surge Modeling Tool (11/04/2010)

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, has added three new scenarios to its web-based interactive Hospital Surge Model. The new additions will allow users to estimate the resources needed to respond to emergencies involving improvised explosive devices, pneumonic plague, and foodborne botulism. The model already addresses 10 scenarios on biological incidents and attacks ranging from pandemic influenza to a nuclear explosion.

Hospital and emergency planners can use the Hospital Surge Model to develop specific strategies to treat an influx of patients affected by these specific incidents. It will estimate, by day, the severity of injury and the number and flow of casualties needing medical attention for specific scenarios selected by users.

Rapid Medical Screening Improves ED Patient Flow During H1N1 Influenza Surge (10/28/2010)

Last week, the American College of Emergency Physicians posted "A Rapid Medical Screening Process Improves Emergency Department Patient Flow During Surge Associated With Novel H1N1 Influenza Virus." The article, which is to be featured in an upcoming Annals of Emergency Medicine, compares emergency department patient flow during the fall 2009 novel H1N1-associated surge in patient volumes at Children's National Medical Center to that in the previous winter virus season. A rapid medical screening process was instituted to manage the surge in patient census.

The process included the use of a new, separate clinical area converted from office space adjacent to the emergency department (ED), the introduction of a new preprinted checklist for rapid documentation of medical history and physical examination of patients with influenza-like illness, the use of classroom-style parent discharge education, and the use of preprinted discharge prescription and instructions.

The study found that the implementation of a rapid screening process was associated with improved patient flow without affecting rates of return to the ED within 48 hours or 7 days. This was accomplished with only a modest increase in staffing.

HHS Announces $3.9 Million to Support Families of CSHCN (10/26/2010)

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $3.9 million in funding to continue support for Family-to-Family Health Information Centers. These non-profit organizations, run by families for families with children with special health care needs (CHSCN), were created in 2005 to provide information, education, training, outreach, and peer support to families of CHSCN and the professionals who serve them.

Screening for Developmental Delay in High-Risk Users of an Urban Pediatric Emergency Department (10/21/2010)

Pediatric Emergency Care released a study whose objective was to determine whether screening children in an urban pediatric emergency department (PED) would lead to identification of previously undiagnosed developmental delay. The study focused on families presenting to an urban public hospital PED with children 6 to 36 months and no history of developmental delay. The children were screened for possible developmental delay using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire; parents completed an instrument that assesses five domains: communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal-social. Sociodemographic data were also obtained.

Coordinating Pediatric Medical Care During an Influenza Pandemic (10/14/2010)

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Clinician Outreach Communication Activity hosted a webinar to discuss how primary care and multi-specialty clinics can work collaboratively to manage pediatric emergencies during a wide-spread H1N1 pandemic. In addition, the call described steps to help promote infection control in an outpatient setting and identified elements to be included in a healthcare facility emergency care plan to address a surge in pediatric patients. This webinar is now available for download.

DHHS Awards $20 Million to Help Rural Hospitals Switch to EHR (10/14/2010)

Forty-six Regional Extension Centers are to receive approximately $20 million from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to provide additional technical support to help critical access and rural hospital facilities transition from paper-based medical records to certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. According to a recently released statement from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, "Some 1,655 critical access and rural hospitals in 41 states and the nationwide Indian Country stand to benefit from this assistance, which can help each of them qualify for substantial EHR incentive payments from Medicare and Medicaid."

FDA Approves Pediatric Use of 2-PAM (10/07/2010)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the pediatric use of Protopam Chloride (pralidoxime chloride), a drug used to treat poisoning by organophosphate pesticides and chemicals (e.g., nerve agents). The drug is approved to be administered either by intravenous or intramuscular injections. For more information, read the FDA news release.

New Release: Disaster Mental Health Field Guide (10/05/2010)

The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) and Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction have released Disaster: Mental Health Intervention Field Guide, a compendium of mental health tools that describes the range of behavioral health responses and offers suggestions on how to interact with and respond to victims. Part of the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota, CIDRAP is a global leader in addressing public health preparedness and emerging infectious disease response.

USFA/IAFF Publish Emergency Vehicle Safety Guide (09/23/2010)

The United States Fire Administration (USFA), in partnership with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), announces the release of Best Practices for Emergency Vehicle and Roadway Operations Safety in the Emergency Services. The guide highlights the results of a U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice-supported initiative to enhance emergency vehicle and roadway operations safety for firefighters and law enforcement officers. Although related press releases and web sites exclusively mention fire and law enforcement, the document itself contains multiple EMS (and ambulance-related) references which provide valid safety reminders to EMS providers.

Medicaid Programs Now Allow Terminally Ill Children to Receive Curative Treatment (09/17/2010)

Last week, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Director Cindy Mann released a letter to states intended to provide guidance on the implementation of section 2302 of the Affordable Care Act, titled “Concurrent Care for Children.” Section 2302 of the law amends sections 1905(o)(1) and 2110(a)(23) of the Social Security Act. The new provision requires state Medicaid programs to allow terminally ill children to receive curative treatment even if they elect hospice benefits.

NHTSA Releases Report on Children Injured in Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes (09/16/2010)

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published Children Injured in Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes, a report that examines injury rates among children younger than 8 years that were in motor vehicle traffic accidents from 1999 to 2008. Rollover crashes prove to cause the most debilitating injury for children that are not in safety seats or wearing seat belts. The report finds head injuries to be the most common among all children, while children younger than 1 year suffer more concussions and lose consciousness more frequently. The article determines that child safety seats are effective in reducing injury incidents in any crash type.

HealthGrades Evaluates Safety Among Pediatric Patients at Children’s Hospitals (09/11/2010)

HealthGrades, an independent healthcare ratings organization, has for the first time rated safety among pediatric patients at children’s hospitals. The best-performing hospitals were recognized with the HealthGrades 2010 Pediatric Patient Safety Excellence Award™.

NEMSIS TAC Releases 2009 NEMSIS Public-Release Research Dataset (09/09/2010)

The National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) Technical Assistance Center (TAC) recently released the 2009 NEMSIS Public-Release Research Dataset. This dataset includes more than 6 million EMS events reported to the NEMSIS TAC by 26 states during the 2009 calendar year. To obtain a DVD of Dataset, visit the NEMSIS website and complete a request form. A Data Users Manual is also available at the same link. Note that the Dataset does not contain information that identifies patients, EMS agencies, receiving hospitals, or reporting states.

FEMA Releases Course on Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters (09/02/2010)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently released a new independent study course through their Emergency Management Institute on Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters. This course is targeted to local and state emergency managers and planners; however, other individuals or groups that are directly involved with meeting the needs of children may also benefit. Upon completion of the course, students will receive a FEMA certificate in addition to .40 continuing education units.

NEMSIS Version 3 Seeks Public Comments (09/01/2010)

The National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) Technical Assistance Center (TAC) is seeking input on which elements should be a part of the national and state-level datasets. TAC has posted a proposed list of elements for each dataset. Elements considered “national” will be required for all state datasets, and elements considered “state-level” will be recommended for inclusion in their state datasets. The comment period closed on September 15, 2010.

NHTSA Releases Materials from Safe Transportation of Children in Ground Ambulances Meeting(08/27/2010)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its recommendations for the safe transportation of children in ground ambulances. The recommendations were developed during the Safe Transportation of Children in Ground Ambulances Meeting held on August 5, 2010. 

CDC Publishes Data on Children’s Health(08/24/2010)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released America's Children In Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2010. This report was compiled by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, a working group of 22 federal agencies that collect, analyze, and report data on issues related to children and families.

The report groups the most recently available major federal statistics on children and youth under several domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health.

CMS Seeks Comments on Legislative Changes Aimed at Improving Children’s Care (08/20/2010)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is requesting public comments on the Secretary of Health and Human Services' recommended legislative changes to improve the quality of children's care provided under Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, including state quality reporting recommendations. The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 requires the Secretary to provide to Congress with recommendations for legislative changes designed to improve the quality of care provided to children under Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. (EST) on August 30, 2010.

NHTSA Calls for Comments on Rear Seat Belt Mandate (08/12/2010)

A petition for rulemaking filed by Public Citizen and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety would require automobile manufacturers to install seat belt reminder systems (known as SBRS) for rear designated seating positions in light passenger vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is asking for comments by August 30, 2010, about the costs, technology, consumer acceptance, and effectiveness of the proposed change.

FEMA Opens Its National Dialogue on Preparedness (08/12/2010)

The National Dialogue on Preparedness is an OpenGov initiative hosted by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Its purpose is to help the Local, State, Tribal, and Federal Preparedness Task Force develop recommendations on how to improve preparedness for natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other man-made disasters. The National Dialogue will remain open for comments until August 31, 2010.

Care Setting Affects Likelihood that Children with Persistent Asthma will Receive Inhaled Steroids (08/05/2010)

Key components of quality care for children with persistent asthma include prescribing inhaled steroids, vaccinating the child against influenza, and discussing an asthma action plan with the child's parent. These children are less likely to receive inhaled steroids if they receive care in community health centers or hospital clinics than in multi-specialty group practices, according to a new study.

Based on the study's findings, efforts to increase the use of inhaled steroids for children with persistent asthma should focus on settings such as community health centers and hospital clinics. Their study included 563 children with persistent asthma, aged 2 to 12 years, who were part of a large, multi-specialty group practice in metropolitan Boston or Neighborhood Health Plan (a Massachusetts health plan predominantly for Medicaid recipients). Parents of eligible children and the children's primary care providers were surveyed. The study was funded in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (T32 HS00063).

More details are in "Asthma care quality for children with minority-serving providers," by Alison A. Galbraith, MD, MPH, Lauren A. Smith, MD, MPH, Barbara Bokhour, PhD, and others in the January 2010 Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 164(1), pp. 38-43.

HHS Allocates $88 Million for Program to Improve the Wellbeing of Children (07/29/2010)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $88 million in grant funding to 49 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories. The funds will support evidence-based home visiting programs focused on improving the well being of families with young children. These programs are supported by evidence-based research that demonstrate these programs can improve outcomes for children and families and also yield Medicaid savings by reducing preterm births and the need for emergency room visits.

DOT’s Upcoming Meeting on Safe Transport of Children in Ambulances (07/29/2010)

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will be hosting a public meeting and webinar in Washington, DC, on Thursday, August 5, 2010, from 1:30-4:30 p.m. EDT to obtain feedback from national stakeholder groups in the Emergency Medical Services and Child Passenger Safety communities on updated recommendations for the safe transportation of children in ground ambulances.

This project was jointly conducted by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Office of Emergency Medical Services and the NHTSA Occupant Protection Division and developed by a working group composed of a broad array of national organizations with expertise in pediatrics, emergency medical care and emergency transportation, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Ambulance Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Emergency Nurses Association and others.

The project developed recommendations for the safe transportation of injured and non-injured children from the scene of a crash to a medical facility. Please see attached Federal Register Notice for more information.

Resource Center Offers Data on Child and Adolescent Health (07/23/2010)

The Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health is a project of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, supported by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration. This online resource center provides access to national and state data from the National Survey of Children's Health and the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs. The center also offers resources and technical assistance when utilizing data results.

38 States Unprepared to Protect Children During Disasters (07/21/2010)

Almost five years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast and displaced more than 160,000 Louisiana and Mississippi kids, a new report by Save the Children USA reveals that the vast majority of states are still not fully prepared to protect children in disasters. Save the Children USA’s report card for the 50 states and the District of Columbia highlights less than one quarter of all states and the District of Columbia have enacted four basic safeguards to protect kids who are in school or child care during disasters. The four basic safeguards listed in the report are as follows: 1) evacuation/relocation plan, 2) reunification efforts, 3) special needs populations, and 4) written procedures for disaster planning for K-12.

President Obama Nominates Pediatrician as the New Administrator for CMS (07/08/2010)

President Obama nominated Donald Berwick, MD, as the new administrator for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. Berwick, a trained pediatrician and professor at both Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, currently holds the position of president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Dr. Berwick has previously served on the Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry where he was appointed by then-President Clinton. Distinguished with many awards and recognitions, Dr. Berwick will employ his knowledge and experience in the field to help provide better healthcare at lower costs for millions of Americans.

HHS Provides $390.5 million to Improve Hospital Preparedness and Emergency Response (07/08/2010)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recently provided all states, territories, and the metro areas of New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles County, and Washington, D.C. with a total of $390.5 million in federal grant funding to assist hospitals and other health care organizations strengthen the medical surge capability across the nation. The funds will be provided through the Hospital Preparedness Program to enhance community resilience by increasing the ability of hospitals and healthcare facilities to respond to the public health and medical impacts of any emergency, such as natural disasters, disease outbreaks, or acts of terrorism. The total dollar amount awarded to each state, territory and the District of Columbia is now available for download.

NLM Releases Family Reunification in Disasters Tool (06/10/2010)

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has released a free iPhone application designed for family reunification in disaster situations. The application Reunite advances the capabilities of the iPhone app “Found in Haiti” developed by the NLM during the Haiti earthquake crisis. The application is primarily intended for medical aid and relief workers who are assisting in family reunification efforts after a disaster, but may also be used by the general public to report missing and/or found individuals. “Reunite” is available through the iTunes Store.

USFA Launches New Research Website (05/13/2010)

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has launched a new website containing links to and descriptions of USFA initiatives currently underway. Focus areas include emergency medical services (EMS) and first responder health and safety, as well as fire detection, suppression, and notification.

AHRQ Supports Study on Adverse Events during Pediatric Sedation (05/06/2010)

As reported online May 2010 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston have recently determined that adverse events occurring while children are sedated are not reported as often as they should be. Funded in part by AHRQ, these findings suggest that the use of voluntary incident reports may lead to an underestimate of the actual number of adverse events occurring during pediatric sedation. For more information, read the AHRQ summary.

AHRQ Reports on Insured Children of Uninsured Parents (05/06/2010)

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has recently updated its Research Activities – an online newsletter that contains announcements of Agency products and projects and summarizes research findings from studies supported by AHRQ – to include the study “Children’s Receipt of Healthcare Services and Family Health Insurance Patterns” (J.E. DeVoe, et. al., Annals of Family Medicine 7(5), pg. 409-413, 2009). The study, which analyzed data on the 43,509 individuals who responded to AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey–Household Component (MEPS-HC) for 2002–2006, finds that insured children living with at least one uninsured parent are more than two times as likely to lack a usual source of care as those with insured parents.

CDC Releases Hospital Workbook for Pandemic Pediatric Care (04/29/2010)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the new hospital workbook, Coordinating Pediatric Medical Care during an Influenza Pandemic. Based on a September 2009 stakeholder meeting convened by the CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, this workbook is intended to assist hospitals with coordinating medical care for pediatric influenza-like illness across their communities. It covers such topics as liaisons between hospitals, surge capacity assessment, and alternate staffing and triage. The tool can be adapted for use during pandemic spread of any novel influenza virus.

AAP Requests Input on Recent Events Involving Children and Disasters (04/22/2010)

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council is requesting input on recent events involving children and disasters.

First, regarding H1N1 follow-up, the Council is compiling information from practitioners on lessons learned during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. If you have presented at a meeting, or have a tool or idea to share, please forward your PowerPoint slides or a description of your tool/solution/lesson learned to laird@aap.org. This information will hopefully be made available on a “Lesson’s Learned” webpage within the AAP’s Children and Disasters web site.

Second, the AAP is also requesting information from pediatricians and other health professionals who provided relief in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquakes. Through a brief survey, the Academy hopes to identify lessons learned and improve pediatric preparedness for future disasters. 

ACEP Publishes Study of Suicide-Related Pediatric ED Visits (04/22/2010)

A recent issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine features the study “Pediatric Suicide-Related Presentations: A Systematic Review of Mental Health Care in the Emergency Department (ED)." The study’s authors evaluated the effectiveness of interventions for suicidal pediatric patients and ultimately found that transition interventions (those beginning in the ED and extending beyond ED discharge into the community) appear most promising for reducing suicide-related outcomes and improving post-ED treatment adherence.

FDA Requires Device Manufacturers to Include Pediatric Information (04/08/2010)

On March 31, 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will begin implementing a requirement that device manufacturers provide readily available information in certain pre-market applications on pediatric patients who suffer from the disease or condition that the device is intended to treat, diagnose, or cure – even if the device is intended for adult use. If the manufacturer does not submit such information, the FDA may not approve the application until the required information is provided.

AAP and ACEP Post Revised Policy Statement on CSHCN Emergency Preparedness (04/08/2010)

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) have recently posted online their revised joint policy statement on Emergency Information Forms and Emergency Preparedness for Children with Special Healthcare Needs. This revised document includes expanded discussion of disaster planning, electronic applications of the Emergency Information Form (EIF), and the University of Minnesota/Michigan Public Health Institute EIF project – Emergency Medical Services for Children Information System.

AAP Publishes Study on Nonemergency Pediatric ED Visits (04/01/2010)

A March 2010 study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) online journal Pediatrics describes characteristics of pediatric patients who use U.S. emergency departments (EDs) for nonemergent conditions. This “National Profile of Nonemergency Pediatric Emergency Department Visits” identifies specific sociodemographic criteria (such as age, race, and insurance status) associated with non-emergency ED utilization.

EMS Performance Measures Project Provides Report (04/01/2010)

In partnership with the National Association of EMS Physicians, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Association of State EMS Officials recently coordinated the EMS Performance Measures Project that sought to create a set of 20-30 EMS system performance indicators and attributes that could be used to better explain the discipline. A report about the project is now available online.

Oregon Offers Webinar on Pediatric Respiratory Illness and Emergencies (03/11/2010)

The Oregon Office of Rural Health and the Oregon State EMS and Trauma Systems have partnered to bring web-based education opportunities to EMTs and emergency providers. Webinars are being held on the second Tuesday of each month. The latest webinar, Common Pediatric Respiratory Illnesses and Emergencies, occurred on March 9. The next webinar is scheduled for April 13. Note that not all webinars are pediatric specific.

New Report Spotlights HHS Hospital Preparedness Program (02/18/2010)

The Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has released The Next Challenge in Healthcare Preparedness: Catastrophic Health Events (Preparedness Report). This report is one of the results of a two-year, comprehensive assessment of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Hospital Preparedness Program from 2002-2007. It was contracted by HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and includes recommendations for improving and evaluating future hospital preparedness efforts.

New Study Addresses Pediatric Mental Health in the ED (02/11/2010)

A new study published online in Pediatric Emergency Care, titled Pediatric Mental Health Concerns in the Emergency Department: Caregiver and Youth Perceptions and Expectations, analyzes the top five mental health concerns among caregivers and youth presenting to the ED. The researchers conclude that caregiver expectations highlight a lack of knowledge regarding referral procedures and mental health services in the ED.

Article Highlights Shortage of Pediatricians Trained in Subspecialties (01/23/2010)

Earlier this month, Kaiser Health News highlighted a Wall Street Journal article on the growing shortage of pediatricians trained in subspecialties, including emergency medicine. According to the article, six states lack even one physician trained in pediatric emergency medicine. In the hopes of attracting more physicians to these subspecialties, several national organizations are lobbying Congress to increase funding for training and reimbursement rates within the conference report on a final health care reform bill.

MCHB Publishes Report on Children’s Health (01/14/2010)

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) has published the report The Health and Well-Being of Children: A Portrait of States and the Nation 2007, which is available online or through request. The report provides both national and state-level data on U.S. children based on the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health. Notable findings include:

  • In 2007, 88.5 percent of children reported receiving a preventive health care visit, up from 77 percent in 2003. Among children who had no health insurance, however, the rate was far lower: only 72.6 percent of children who were uninsured at the time of the survey had a preventive health care visit.
  • About 4 out of 10 children in need of mental health services for emotional development or behavioral problems did not receive them. Among uninsured children, more than half did not.
  • More than 4 in 10 children were not receiving care within a “medical home,” defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics as care that is accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family-centered, coordinated and compassionate.

The survey also reveals significant state-to-state differences across a broad range of health issues for children.

AHA Offers New Online Rhythm Pediatric Course (01/10/2010)

The American Heart Association (AHA) announces the availability of the new eLearning course Learn: Rhythm Pediatric. This course is aimed at all healthcare providers, especially those preparing for a Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course. It is designed to teach basic pediatric rhythm recognition skills, the relationship between the electrocardiogram (ECG) strip and heart impulses and how to identify and distinguish between common pediatric arrhythmias. The course employs a variety of different educational approaches, including interactive activities, animation, audio, and self-assessment portions.