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Last Updated: 10/02/01

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Pediatric Equipment in Ambulances

Moreland, J. E., Sanddal, N. D., Sanddal, T. L., & Pickert, C. B. (1998). Self-reported compliance with pediatric equipment guidelines for ambulance services prior to an emergency medical service for children program (Abstract). Pediatric Emergency Care, 14 (1), 84.


OBJECTIVE: To determine compliance with consensus guidelines published in Ann Emerg Med (28:669-701, 1996) for pediatric equipment by Kansas ambulance services prior to an emergency medical services for children (EMSC) program. METHODS: A questionnaire was mailed to all 189 licensed ground ambulance services. Questions were asked concerning the availability of essential pediatric equipment. An incentive was offered for responses. The data were entered into SPSS by a single abstractor. Basic life support (BLS) and advanced life support (ALS) responses were compared to their respective guidelines. Analysis was descriptive in nature.

RESULTS: Ninety-two (48.7%) of the services responded to the questionnaire. Six responses were excluded. Of 86 inclusions, 12 (13.9%) were ALS and 74 (86%) were BLS. Four services (4.7%) reported compliance with essential equipment on all vehicles. Six (7.0%) reported compliance on their primary and secondary units. Seven (8.1%) reported compliance on the primary response vehicle (PRV) only. Seventy-nine (91.9%) failed to achieve compliance on any vehicle. All seven respondents reporting PRV compliance were BLS services. No ALS services met the required compliance of both BLS and ALS equipment although two met BLS only and one met ALS only. The most frequently missing pediatric BLS items were stethoscope (58%), traction splint (53%), and nonrebreather mask (45%). The most frequently missing pediatric ALS items were nasogastric tubes (75%), monitor electrodes (50%), and Magill forceps (41.7%).

CONCLUSIONS: While limited by the self-reporting nature of the questionnaire, deficiencies in pediatric equipment are present among ambulance services in Kansas when measured against published guidelines. Compliance rates appear similar between ALS and BLS services. A repeated measure after the EMSC program has been implemented is warranted.


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