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April 2012, Volume 42 Number 4 , p 64 - 65


  • Terri L. Kress MSN, RN, CEN
  • Frederick J. Tasota MSN, RN
  • Daniel Shearn MSN, RN


WE WORK IN A facility with two adult tertiary care university hospitals with over 700 licensed beds. Traditionally, when we've had emergencies involving infants and children, nurses and healthcare providers from an adjacent pediatric hospital responded. Their support nicely complemented our emergency response team for these crises. Our hospital reciprocated by responding to their adult emergencies. This relationship worked well until 2009, when the pediatric hospital relocated 3 miles away.Although our hospital rarely has pediatric inpatients, we continue to have pediatric outpatients in the facility for diagnostic testing and routinely have children visiting. In addition, regulatory agencies require us to respond effectively to pediatric emergencies.1This article describes initiatives we took to maintain an appropriate level of response for these rare but potentially serious situations.We determined that our organization needed a three-pronged approach: 1. to identify a core group of nurse, respiratory therapist, and healthcare provider responders and provide them with appropriate pediatric training 2. to evaluate and modify pediatric emergency equipment in accordance with evidence-based practice and ease of use 3. to provide the responders with a protocol tailored to our facility.To achieve our goals, we first formed a multidisciplinary task force from the hospital's Medical Emergency Response Improvement Team (MERIT). The group included critical care and ED nurses and healthcare providers, anesthesia personnel, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, a central supply supervisor, transportation team supervisor, hospital administrators, and pediatric nurses from our health system's pediatric hospital. This multidisciplinary group would address elements of the process and devise a plan meeting our hospital's needs.The MERIT committee met every 4 weeks for 9 months. Advanced practice nurses facilitated the work and assigned tasks to the various individuals involved.The

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