The care of children with acute medical problems is evolving as knowledge of new conditions develops. In addition, technology also changes to provide solutions to optimize care. This issue of PCNA highlights the important populations, disease states, and technological advancements in pediatric emergency medicine. Although concussion and head injury are common occurrences for the practicing pediatrician, we now better understand how to evaluate and manage these children and to use CT scans appropriately. Pediatric offices need to be incorporated in any emergency plan for both acute emergencies and common injuries. Analgesia and sedation must always be considered to provide comfort for children. Technologically assisted children and children with acute psychiatric and behavioral problems are now more commonplace in the Emergency Department as well as the office setting, and the practicing pediatrician needs to have a clear plan in understanding these medical conditions and appropriate management and referral. New drugs of abuse and foreign body ingestions are prevalent and have unique diagnostic and treatment challenges. Skin infections and abscesses have always been common but our knowledge of resistance patterns and best practices for treatment is changing. Finally, whether it is the pediatric office practitioner or the Emergency medicine physician, we need to continue our important efforts in injury prevention for the future of our children.
By Richard Lichtenstein, MD, University of Maryland and Getachew Teshome, MD, University of Maryland