Key learning aims
The three key learning aims of the programme relate to emergency conditions, pain alleviation and child protection.
No matter where emergency care is practised, there are three broad parameters that need to be addressed.
The key learning aims of the programme:
- Recognition of the critically ill or injured child and the ability to provide immediate and life saving treatment.
- The ability to recognise a child in pain or distress and to deliver appropriate treatment.
- To recognise a vulnerable child at risk of abuse in any form.
Emergency conditions are varied and multi-factorial. In the developed world respiratory disease is by far the commonest reason for children to present unwell. In the developing world diarrhoeal disease and other infectious diseases such as meningococcal and pneumococcal illness are much more prevalent.
Throughout the world injury is the leading cause of mortality in children under the age of 16. Repeated studies have demonstrated that early recognition of clinical signs and symptoms, together with a sound knowledge of the underlying physiological and pathological processes, leads to a better understanding of the treatments required. Early intervention can significantly improve the outcome for critically ill and injured children, (Roberts I et al 1996).
Alleviation of pain is a major humanitarian function. Repeatedly it has been shown that on an International basis, children receive inadequate pain relief, particularly when related to adults. (American College of Emergency Physicians 2008).
The continuing problem with Child Protection has been demonstrated on a national and international basis. Emergency Medicine is ideally placed to recognise and implement, together with other agencies, appropriate management of vulnerable and abused children.