First-Hand Approach: A novel method to rapidly calculate pediatric drug dosages [JEMS]

Aug 1, 2013 | Article

Peter Antevy, MD — It’s summertime and a group of children is at a neighborhood pool party. Although there’s a designated adult to supervise the young swimmers, a scream fills the air as someone notices that a 3-year-old boy is submerged in the shallow end of the pool. A frantic mother calls 9-1-1, trying to comprehend the basic maneuvers being described over the phone. Moments later, the tones sound loudly at your station, which is only six minutes away. As you climb into your unit, dispatch gives you the following information: “Ambulance 38, Engine 38, and Captain 65: Respond to a 3-year-old male unconscious and not breathing.

ANXIETY INDUCING CALLS: Your heart starts to race even though this is your 15th year as a paramedic and you feel well versed in pediatric ALS. Pediatric calls always cause you intense anxiety. The six-minute race to the call seems to be taking forever. Your mind is preoccupied with the image of a 3-year-old whose future may be resting in your hands because you know that regaining a pulse on scene may have a significant effect on the neurologic outcome of this child and, therefore, could be the difference between life and death.

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