Children have unique medical care needs in the prehospital setting — needs that are not necessarily the same as those of adult patients with similar emergency presentations.
To assure that the pediatric patient's unique prehospital care needs are met, pediatricians must participate in the regional medical control of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) systems. Their input needs to occur at three levels: prospective, on-line, and retrospective.1
Prospective medical control involves advising EMS personnel about equipment requirements, policies and procedures, and training and certification of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in pediatric prehospital emergency care. Published resources are available to assist with the proper choice of equipment for prehospital pediatric care,2,3 though pediatricians and pediatric specialists can facilitate appropriate choices for individual EMS systems.