For Release: March 27, 2000, 1:00p.m. (ET)


Health Care Experts Urge
Widespread Use of Emergency Form



Baltimore- At the Second National Congress on Childhood Emergencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) presented a new Emergency Information Form to assist health care providers in treating children with complicated health problems.

Parents and caregivers of children with special health care needs often bring these children to emergency rooms and other health care sites without information describing their unique medical history and health management requirements. This lack of information can cost health professionals precious minutes in determining the best course of treatment.

To address this problem, the AAP and ACEP developed the Emergency Information Form. This form is used to record health data for such children, which can then be kept in multiple locations for easy access by physicians and emergency medical personnel.

At the meeting of emergency medical professionals, Michael Gerardi, MD, FAAP, FACEP, urged widespread use of the form. "This is something simple that meets the needs of everyone involved in caring for an acutely ill or injured child with special health care needs: the patient, the parents, the pediatrician, the subspecialist, and the emergency physician," said Dr. Gerardi, a pediatric emergency physician who helped to create the form.

Parents and other caregivers should work together with their health care providers to fill out the Emergency Information Form (Adobe Acrobat PDF File), which should then be stored in the home in a place where emergency medical personnel can easily find it, such as in or on the refrigerator. Parents also should keep copies at their primary care provider's office, school nurse's office, their own car and workplace, and with their child's belongings when he or she is traveling.

The form also can be filed in a central repository managed by Medic Alert, which medical professionals anywhere in the world can access 24 hours a day.


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EDITOR'S NOTE: A press briefing on the Emergency Information Form was held Monday, March 27, 2000 at 1:00 p.m. at the National Congress on Childhood Emergencies, Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, D'Alesandro Room, Baltimore, Md.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Related policy statements from the American Academy of Pediatrics include, "Emergency Preparedness for Children With Special Health Care Needs," and the updated AAP policy statement, "Access to Pediatric Emergency Care."

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 55,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric specialist dedicated to the health, safety and well-being on infants, children, adolescents and young adults.