Emergency Medical Services for Chi (EMS-C) must be recognized as a public responsibility; the "market" cannot be relied on to produce the kind of planning and cooperation required to make services available to all who need them.1 The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report on Emergency Medical Services For Children.
Each year millions of American chi become seriously ill or injured. If you have ever encountered a child who did not receive the medical care they needed or deserved under these circumstances you understand what EMS-C is all about. The familiar adage, "Children are not small adults," emphasizes that their care must be an integral part of a system not an afterthought once the adults have been addressed. The achievement of the desired level of competence for EMS-C in the larger system is hampered by many factors. These include lack of organization, equipment, training, and a tack of understanding of the child's unique problems and needs.
In response to these needs, Congress approved a demonstration grant program in 1984. The purpose of the program was threefold: to expand access to EMS-C, to improve the quality available through existing Emergency Medical Systems (EMS), and to generate knowledge and experience that would be of use to all states and localities seeking to improve their system.
Continuing interest prompted the formation of the Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medical Services by the IOM. This 19-member committee Chaired by Dr Donald N. Medearis, Jr released their report in the summer of 1993. The IOM report entitled Emergency Medical Services for Chi is available in both a soft cover 25-page summary and the full text (see Appendix).