When a pediatric emergency occurs at a primary care office or urgent care center, strategies for transporting the patient to the emergency department vary tremendously.

In some communities, hospital-based specialty pediatric critical care transport (SPCCT) teams are first responders for primary care and urgent care practices. In other locales, emergency medical services (EMS) providers primarily respond to emergencies at primary care settings. Occasionally, emergency care and stabilization are initiated in the primary care setting, and parents then take their child to an emergency department.

Data suggest primary care providers are reluctant to call 911 for office emergencies when transports are managed by EMS providers. Some feel this decision may be influenced by physicians’ perceptions that EMS teams are unfamiliar with pediatric patients. SPCCT transport, however, may not always be necessary.

A study presented by Crystal Joyce, D.O., at the 2011 AAP Section on Transport Medicine scientific session reported a low...

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