All doctors who care for infants and children face a fundamental problem. Outside of tertiary hospitals, pediatric emergencies are, thankfully, rare. And yet a pediatric emergency can occur at any time and at any practice environment (office or emergency department). And prompt recognition and prompt and correct treatment are required to save the infant or child’s life.
So how do we stay skilled at treating critically ill infants and children when we may not see a critical case very often?
The answer is that physicians regularly take courses on pediatric emergencies and pediatric critical care. The courses allow the physician to practice pediatric critical care on manikins and to practice recognition, diagnosis, and treatment in case scenarios.
The premiere course for pediatric emergencies is the Pediatric Advanced Life Support course. Many physicians take it every two years. The course textbook, the Pediatric Advanced Life Support Provider Manual c2011 by the American Heart Association, is an outstanding resource for review.
Now there is an additional course for pediatric emergencies. The course is called Pediatric Fundamental Critical Care Support and is put on by the Society of Critical Care Medicine. The textbook of the same name is an excellent complement to the Pediatric Advanced Life Support Provider Manual.
I recently attended the Pediatric Fundamental Critical Care Support course in Chicago and found it to be outstanding. I’d recommend first talking the PALS course and next taking the Pediatric Fundamental Critical Care Support course.
To learn more about the Critical Care course and to access a schedule of upcoming courses, go to Society of Critical Care Medicine’s website at http://www.sccm.org/FCCS_and_Training_Courses/PFCCS/Pages/default.aspx