Kids under 18 make up 3.8% of ambulance incidents in state last year

Traffic accidents the top cause, transfers and illnesses other twop reasons

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – The Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services Kentucky EMS for Children program recently released its 2020 Pediatric Incidents Report for patients under 18 years of age.

“Children account for less than five percent of the patients seen by EMS in Kentucky. Although this number is low, we must remember that these patients have unique needs compared to patients in other demographics,” said KYEMSC Project Director Morgan Scaggs. “In addition to consistently practicing our skills to properly care for this population, it’s also important to routinely analyze pediatric care data about this group so that we can ensure children have a long, healthy and safe future ahead of them.”

To view the full 2020 KYEMSC Pediatric Incidents Report, go to:

Data from the report highlights the following:

  • 32,444 pediatric incidents were reported to the Kentucky State Ambulance Reporting System (KSTARS), accounting for 3.8 percent of all incidents in 2020.
  • 25,432 of incidents required a 911 response; 4,593 required interfacility transport; and 2,251 required medical transport.
  • The top three incident complaints described by dispatch telecommunication professionals included traffic/transportation related incidents, patient transfers from one facility to another, and sick person reports.
  • 7,501 medications were administered, and 4,307 (13.3 percent) of pediatric patients received medications.
  • 46,651 procedures were performed on pediatric patients within the 2020 calendar year.
  • The top three causes of injury included injured car occupant(s) in an unspecified traffic incident, falls and assault by bodily force.
  • 1,580 incidents were reported involving patients 30 days old or younger.
  • 8,821 pediatric respiratory distress incidents were reported in 2020 vs. 11,252 in 2019.
  • According to National EMS Quality Alliance (NEMSQA) pediatric performance measures.
    • 79 percent of Kentucky EMS pediatric patients who experienced respiratory distress received a respiratory assessment, compared to 82 percent nationally.
    • 56 percent of Kentucky EMS pediatric patients with a diagnosis of asthma had an aerosolized beta agonist administered, competed to 45 percent nationally.
    • 60 percent of Kentucky EMS pediatric patients who received a weight-based medication had a documented weight in kilograms compared to 82 percent nationally.

“This is the first year we’ve included the NEMSQA comparison in our report,” Scaggs continued. “This data provides important feedback on how we compare to the rest of the nation in meeting certain indicators of high-quality care. Even when we exceed the national metrics, the information can help us determine where to focus our efforts and which change strategies will lead to better care of the children in our communities.”

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