Thursday, March 02, 2006

Study shows few ERs are kid-friendly

From the Toledo Blade:

Your baby is hurt seriously in a car accident and rushed to the nearest emergency room. But once there, doctors can't find the right-sized intravenous line to deliver life-saving medication.

According to results of a nationwide survey of hospital emergency departments, that scenario may occur far more often than the public realizes.

Researchers for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted the survey to gauge how prepared hospital emergency departments are in taking care of children. Some of the findings are startling.

For example, less than 6 percent of hospitals had an adequate range of sizes for pediatric medical equipment, ranging from tiny needles for infants to larger tubes for teenagers.

"Only 5.5 percent of them had everything. That was shocking. I thought there would be more than that," said Kimberly Middleton, lead author of the CDC report that was released this week. Nearly 5,000 hospitals were surveyed - nearly every hospital in the country - and 86 percent responded.


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