Advocates for Change

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Do you know the best place to take your baby or child in an emergency? R Baby is working to make it easy to find out. State by state, hospital by hospital, we are helping to raise standards and mandate clear guidelines for Pediatric Emergency Care Units.

Since 2006, R Baby has been advocating to provide parents with better transparency regarding the differences between Emergency Rooms, particularly Pediatric Emergency Rooms. We believe parents have the right to know how to make better-informed decisions about which hospitals to take their children to. They should know, for instance, which hospitals have designated separate pediatric emergency areas, as well as their staffs’ credentials. These details could mean the difference between life and death.

We have secured bipartisan support for S2009, a bill to create a “Pediatric Registry” in New Jersey. Senator Joseph Vitale (D-19) and Diane Allen (R-7) are sponsors of the measure which recently passed through the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on December 6th, 2010 and now heads to the full Senate for further consideration. This is one step in R Baby’s mission to ensure that every Emergency Room in the U.S. can properly diagnose and either treat or transfer a baby for the best care.

Additionally, this year, the New Jersey Council of Children’s Hospitals gathered a cross-functional team of medical experts to create newly-formed guidelines to define what a Pediatric Emergency Room should be. The team of experts suggested dividing Pediatric Emergency Rooms into different levels based on the service provided, similar to trauma center rankings. R Baby fully supports these GUIDELINES FOR CARE OF CHILDREN IN PEDIATRIC EMERGENCY DEPARTMENTS and seeks to have these accepted and regulated in New Jersey as well as to spread these guidelines to as many states as we can in the coming year.

Here is an excerpt from the guidelines:

“Only a hospital that meets the standards referenced below can use the term, a Pediatric Emergency Department, or any similar term or terms in advertising or marketing materials or may in any way hold itself out to the public as providing services of the type offered by Levels I and II centers.”

The guidelines continue with specific standards of staffing including sub-specialty availability, hours of operation, supplies on hand, and other important distinctions of what it takes to properly care for children and babies versus adults in emergency settings. We have learned that babies are not miniature adults. Their medical needs are different and therefore these guidelines are critical in preparing for the best care for all of our future families.

Sign Our Petition!

Demand that your emergency department is prepared for your child.

petition

Join over 10,000 supporters who are demanding that their local emergency departments are prepared for infants and children. Send a clear message to your state and national representatives. Sign the petition on the right to support:

  • Improved pediatric emergency care across the U.S.
  • Increased training for general ER doctors in pediatrics
  • Mandatory pediatric supplies and equipment in all emergency departments
  • A new, clear definition of a pediatric emergency room for the best specialized care

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Why We Do It

All ERs are not created equal. Your closest Emergency Room is usually best for extremely time-sensitive cases. Ideally, your closest Pediatric Emergency Room should be the best choice to care for babies and children, because the staff has most likely been trained specifically in pediatrics for a much longer time period than general practitioners. But did you know that there is NO uniform definition or standard in the United States for separate, designated pediatric emergency care units?

Current law provides a vague definition of a pediatric area within the Emergency Department at all hospitals including those that are licensed as “children’s hospitals.” There are different levels of service: one hospital may put up a sign with their existing ER staff and equipment, while another hospital may have 24/7 pediatric emergency physicians who have three additional years of training in infant care, equipment usage and medicinal prescription. We want to change that.

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