Caring for children in the emergency department (ED) is both rewarding and challenging. Children have a tremendous ability to remind us about the importance of our role in the medical care environment.
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They provide us the opportunity to make critical interventions when they are the most impactful. They also remind us of the humanitarian aspects of our vocation, and they, often, make us smile even during the most difficult of shifts, proving to be a redemptive resource even amid chaos. While caring for children brings many of us significant satisfaction, it is certainly not without its challenges.
The utterance of “kids aren’t little adults” is typically invoked when caring for children in the ED. While this statement is meant to remind providers of the fact that pediatric patients represent a unique population, it can also engender trepidation in care providers. Unquestionably, children represent a special patient population that deserves specific attention to the variances in their anatomy and physiology, but these are aspects of medical management that need to be accounted for in all special populations and should not engender fear. Our goal in presenting this compilation of topics is to empower emergency medicine providers by helping them stay abreast of the common as well as the critical conditions that children will present with to our EDs. We have several individuals who deserve our appreciation. We would like to thank our team of pediatric emergency medicine experts who have helped us present the most current evidenced-based approach to these common and critical conditions. We would also like to thank you, the reader, who has dedicated yourself to providing excellent care for all of your patients—even those who belong to this special population. In addition, we would like to thank all of our patients and their families, as they continually give us the amazing opportunities to help them all the while teaching us so much. Last, we would be remiss if we did not recognize those who sacrifice on our behalf: our wives, children, and families
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