DES PLAINES, Ill. (May 24, 2017)
– Today is Emergency Medical Services for Children Day, a day to recognize the need for specialized emergency care for children. The federal Emergency Medical Services for Children, or EMSC, Program has been the only federal program dedicated to improving emergency medical care for children. The following organizations join the statement below, opposing President Donald Trump’s proposal to eliminate funding for the EMSC program in his fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget: the American Ambulance Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Emergency Physicians, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, Children’s Health Fund, Emergency Nurses Association
, National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, National Association of State EMS Officials, National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Earth Institute, National EMS Management Association and Save the Children.
“Every year, our organizations, representing pediatricians, emergency medical service providers and children’s advocates recognize Emergency Medical Services for Children Day to celebrate the success of a federal program that has made the nation's hospitals more prepared to care for children by having the right equipment, medications and systems in place to provide the most appropriate care possible. This year, we go a step further by speaking out against President Trump’s recommendation to defund the EMSC program in his 2018 budget.
“For more than 30 years, the EMSC program has worked to improve the quality of care children receive, no matter where they live or require treatment. Children are not just little adults—emergency services and equipment like ventilation and airway equipment, defibrillators and life-saving drugs need to be sized and dosed especially for children.
“The EMSC program has improved the quality, capability and outcomes of pediatric emergency care, including in pre-hospital EMS systems and hospital emergency departments. The EMSC program funds critical research that aims to improve screening of children in the emergency department for substance use such as opioid dependency as well as the screening of teens at risk for suicidality that may be linked to substance use or mental health disorders. Because of EMSC, nurses and physicians now know how to better manage traumatic brain injuries in children, pediatric seizures and bronchiolitis. The president’s budget would have devastating consequences for the progress that has been made to improve pediatric emergency care in the United States.
“Mass casualty events involving children, including this week’s tragedy at a concert in England, necessitate advanced planning, training and proper equipment. Thanks to EMSC, our nation's ambulances, EMS personnel and emergency departments are better equipped and trained to treat children. We reject President Trump's proposal and urge Congress to do the same. We look forward to Congress fully funding the EMSC program in FY 2018 so that children and adolescents are not left behind during their most critical times of need.”