Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is a relatively young medical specialty, with a history that is less than 50 years old. Limited research has been conducted to determine how to optimize medical care in the prehospital setting, and the research that has been conducted has primarily utilized adult populations. Thus, a large knowledge gap exists in pediatric EMS, making research on children in a prehospital setting essential.
Charlotte, Houston, and Milwaukee Prehospital (CHaMP) is a node of the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) composed of three diverse Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies that collectively respond to nearly 350,000 EMS calls per year, of which approximately 25,000 are pediatric. The node is overseen by the Medical College of Wisconsin. Each EMS affiliate has a robust history of conducting successful EMS research (including randomized clinical trials) and has cultivated a culture among its providers that values research. From the administration to the field providers at each of these organizations, research is recognized as integral to their mission, and they value contributing to the EMS knowledge base.
Each EMS agency in CHaMP has formed partnerships with their receiving hospitals that allow them to provide state-of-the-art care as well as collect outcomes data for research. Emergency care requires a continuum of care that starts in the prehospital setting and continues through emergency department care and, if necessary, hospital admission. Research on emergency conditions requires cooperation across that continuum. Participating EMS agencies have strong partnerships with their receiving hospitals and have engaged them to support the CHaMP network. Therefore, the infrastructure developed by this collaboration is capable of successfully conducting pediatric-focused prehospital research that will improve prehospital care for ill and injured children on a national scale.
Populations served by EMS CHaMP Agencies
|Population under 21
|Annual EMS calls
|Annual Pediatric calls
|Highest level of care
|Number of Paramedics
The EMSC hosted a webinar, “EMS Research: A Path to Improving Pediatric Prehospital Care,” which featured the CHaMP node as an example of an EMSC-funded Targeted Issues project. The webinar was attended by more than 50 EMS individuals around the country. Nodal PI E. Brooke Lerner outlined CHaMP’s mission, infrastructure, role within the PECARN network, leadership in spearheading an EMS Consortium within PECARN, and the node’s research efforts. The presentation also provided listeners with the knowledge of how to develop a concept or protocol and move it through the PECARN process to increase the likelihood of funding.