How to buy pediatric equipment / supplies

When purchasing pediatric supplies for EMS professionals consider these five things

A Pediatric Advanced Life Support training course is a solid review of respiratory, cardiac, and shock cases, as well as an opportunity for hands-on practice for the unique physiological differences of pediatric patients. Those differences require EMS professionals to have specific pediatric supplies for assessment, treatment, and transport.

When purchasing pediatric equipment supplies for EMS professionals consider these things:

1. Bundling equipment by patient size

Use pediatric-specific supplies for assessment, treatment, and transport
Use pediatric-specific supplies for assessment, treatment, and transport (Image/ Greg Friese)

A length-based tape for estimating pediatric patient's weight assigns "colors" for different size equipment. Bundling equipment by its color size and color-matched bags puts resuscitation equipment in one place for rapid access.

2. Recommendations from local or regional pediatric care experts.

Since most EMS professionals infrequently use pediatric equipment ask local or regional experts from pediatric critical care transport services or children's hospitals for equipment recommendations. From their regular use, they will be able to advise what works well and what does not.

3. Pediatric assessment bag.

Store pediatric assessment and treatment equipment in a specific "peds bag." The bag at a minimum should include a length-based tape for weight estimation, airway management equipment, vascular access supplies, and fluid administration tools.

4. Ensure effectiveness of novelty items.

Pediatric oxygen administration supplies and nebulized medication delivery devices are designed into various animal and dinosaur shapes. If selecting items with novelty designs talk to pediatric care experts to make sure these devices actually work. If a child is in severe respiratory distress the primary concern should be administering the medication not giving the child a toy to play with.

5. Availability of grants and special equipment purchase programs.

Grant funding may be available from local foundations and service organizations for purchasing pediatric-specific assessment and treatment supplies. Years ago the Womens' Clubs of Wisconsin raised funds to supply all EMS transport services with pediatric equipment. Learn what is available in your area from

Finally, since pediatric patients are usually a small portion of a service's total call volume schedule regular pediatric assessment and treatment training. Make sure to include competency verification and remediation, as needed, with skills like airway management, vascular access, cardiac rhythm interpretation, and treatment of dysrhythmias.

Any other suggestions for purchasing pediatric equipment supplies? What features do you seek in pediatric equipment supplies? Anything we missed in the list above? Leave a comment below with your feedback.

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