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Office Preparedness for Pediatric Emergencies: Baseline Preparedness and the Impact of Guideline Distribution

Walsh-Kelly, Christine M. MD*; Bergholte, Jo MS*; Erschen, Mary Jean RN, BSN; Melzer-Lange, Marlene MD*

doi: 10.1097/01.pec.0000125656.97571.51
Original Articles

Objective: To determine the baseline level of preparedness of Wisconsin primary care physician offices for pediatric emergencies and to assess the impact of mail distribution of guidelines on this level of preparedness.

Method: Preintervention surveys were mailed to all Wisconsin physicians requesting information about pediatric equipment, medications, training, and policies. Guidelines were distributed by mail to all physicians who returned completed surveys. An identical postintervention survey was mailed to these physicians, and an analysis of the paired surveys for each respondent was performed.

Results: Baseline preparedness of 1051 Wisconsin physician offices ranged from 37% with intraosseous needles to 96% with albuterol solution for inhalation. Physician certification in pediatric advanced life support was required in 26% of offices. A total of 568 paired preintervention and postintervention surveys were analyzed. Improvements were identified for the availability of equipment and medications, transport policies, and reference guides.

Conclusions: Mail distribution of guidelines was minimally effective in improving the preparedness of Wisconsin offices for pediatric emergencies.

*Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI; †Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services for Children, Madison, WI.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Christine M. Walsh-Kelly, MD, 9000 West Wisconsin Avenue/MS677, Milwaukee, WI 53226. E-mail:

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.