R Baby Foundation: Improving Pediatric Emergency Care & Saving Babies’ Lives

Did you know that your local ER may or may not be prepared to treat your child?

I was floored to learn from R Baby Foundation, established in 2006 to organize and fund efforts to improve the outcomes of medical care for infants, that emergency medical services and emergency departments in the U.S. are not well equipped to handle pediatric care.

Only 6% of Emergency Departments in the U.S. have the necessary supplies for pediatric emergencies.

Yes, you read that correctly, only 6%!  In fact, babies born in the U.S. are twice as likely to die than in many other developed countries, including Sweden, Japan and Spain (the United States is ranked 36th among 196 nations).  Here are the disheartening, contributing factors:

  • Most children receive emergency care in general (not children’s) hospitals, which are less likely to have pediatric expertise, equipment, and policies in place for the care of children.
  • Many drugs and medical devices have not been adequately tested on, or dosed properly for, children – including babies.
  • Although pediatric skills deteriorate quickly without practice, continuing education in pediatric care is not required or is extremely limited for many pre-hospital emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

Learning these stats was sobering, to say the least. Even more so, was participating in the #RBabyMoms Twitter awareness party last month and learning how many friends and colleagues have had nightmare ED experiences with their babies like nurses that had never done a catheter on an infant before (read this one several times).

One of my first actions upon learning these deficiencies was to identify which hospital ED we would go to if needed.  Are you prepared for a trip to the emergency room? Do you know which hospital you would bring your child to in an emergency?  Is it a children’s hospital?  You need to plan in advance.

Here are the recommended items and information to have on hand and always remember that you need to be an advocate for your child, ask questions, and never assume.

I’m honored to have participated in this PSA alongside fellow bloggers and will be attending Wednesday’s sold-out Food & Wine Gala at The Plaza to honor my friend Julia Beck of Forty Weeks, among others.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Please sign this petition to implement ED standards across the country and share it.
  • Share your story on RBabyFoundation.org.
  • Make a donation if you can.  It’s important to note that 90% of R Baby’s funds go directly to programs and initiatives, not administration.
  • Give back with Glassbaby. Ten percent of proceeds benefit R Baby.

{I was not compensated for this post.}

Comments

  1. I 100% agree, they really need to take initiative…

  2. Great cause! This is crazy! Thanks for shedding light!

  3. Bonnie
    Twitter: GlamKitten88
    :

    That is so sad. At least there are organizations like this to bring awareness to the situation.

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/

  4. This is so important! Love the PSA – what a great way to bring attention to a great cause. About to go sign the petition now :)

  5. I learned this the hard way about the ER… My son had to make a visit in there and we were told to drive another 15 min and drive to a PEDS er at another hospital… now that we have moved I always want to check for the er’s with the best fit for children.. Luckily it wasn’t a visit for something more sevier of we could have been in trouble!! Great post to help us all be for aware!!

  6. Deirdre
    Twitter: beautymustsmom
    :

    Signed it happily and proudly!! XO

  7. 6% is definitely MUCH lower than I would have expected…

  8. This is such an important message! So glad we had this conversation the other day.

  9. Tell me about it. When Aiden had to be taken to the ER at 10 months and needed three stitches, I learned that the doc had never performed it on infants. So I had to request one that did. Advocating for our children is so so important. And planning in advance…. truth!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Mom Ambassadors. It was a swanky affair but for a super important cause- to raise awareness that Emergency Departments in the U.S. are ill-equipped to deal with children and honor those that are working to spread the word and further the foundation’s […]

  2. […] awareness that not all emergency rooms are equipped to handle pediatric emergencies. Here’s a sobering PSA I filmed while pregnant with Lucas if you want to understand more and how you can get […]

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