Children usually constitute about 20% of patients attending Emergency Departments. Increasingly, paediatric emergency care centres are being set up to promote excellence in the initial care of children with emergencies. This is a very important step in healthcare development. Traditionally, developments in emergency care have been in the management of adult emergencies. We also need to give due attention to the younger members of our community.
Our children are the leaders of the future. Unless we provide the best level of care, in a cost-effective manner, to the younger segment of our community, we cannot be assured of the optimal development of our future adults to take over and address the needs of our society and country. We have a responsibility to create the environment for such development.
The International Federation for Emergency Medicine (IFEM) has recently produced the first international consensus document on Standards of Paediatric Emergency Care. There have been established two major international research networks in paediatric emergency research, viz. the Paediatric Emergency Research Network (PERN) and Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN). These are resources that may be accessed and used for further development of paediatric emergency care in any country.
India has the largest numbers of children in the world. The formation of the Society for Trauma and Emergency Paediatrics (STEP) is a move in the right direction to help coordinate the development of Peadiatric Emergency care in India. STEP would be in an excellent position to work closely with IFEM, PERN, PECARN and similar other groups to move the process of the care of our children forward in the initial stages of management of disease and injury.
On behalf of my colleagues in Emergency Medicine worldwide, I wish STEP the very best in her efforts to advance paediatric emergency care in India.