First responders train for pediatric emergencies - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

First responders train for pediatric emergencies

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – First responder coordinators have organized special training in Myrtle Beach to bring awareness to pediatric medical care in the Palmetto State.

Tuesday, EMS coordinators from across the state are in Myrtle Beach to train and learn new tactics when it comes to pediatric emergencies.

The PEPP program (Pediatric Education for Prehospital Providers) is being showcased to help emergency responders prevent and treat some pediatric issues and medical traumas seen by EMTs on a daily basis.

In the panic of an emergency, we don't give a second thought to whether it's an adult or a child who needs help. We just want help now. But for emergency responders, it makes a huge difference.

"A lot of people look at pediatrics as little adults, but they're not,” says Matt Tumbleson, the EMS Liaison Emergency Manager for Grand Strand Medical Center. “I mean, they're a completely different class of patient. And they need to be treated in an appropriate way for a pediatric patient, versus how we would treat an adult patient."

One of the major challenges can be a child's airway, which is shaped like a funnel. This makes it much easier to become restricted. So when your child is having a medical emergency and can't breathe, EMTs need to be properly trained with the right tactics and equipment to treat them.

This training is so important to the Palmetto State, because many people do not have quick access to a hospital. "Prehospital care is very important,” says Karen Moore, the EMS for Children Program Coordinator. “Especially because some of these rural areas are far from a hospital, and they need to take care of these emergencies -- you know, because the distance between is so great before they get there."

These training sessions put on through a grant with the EMS for Children Program, which is part of DHEC. After going through this course, these coordinators are now certified to train their own departments. Local providers from Bethea Medical Transport, Pee Dee Regional EMS, Darlington, Horry, Florence, Marion and Sumter counties attended.

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