Emergency physicians don’t often see critically ill infants. This rarity can lead to discomfort in managing this patient population. By having a standardized approach and thoughtful use of pathways and protocols, emergency physicians can feel more confident in taking care of the sickest babies—whether they have congenital heart disease, an infection like meningitis or sepsis, or a rash.
“The younger the child, the more subtle clues they give you, and the faster they decline,” said Jennifer D. H. Walthall, MD, MPH, FACEP, FAAP, volunteer clinical professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, who will present “The 1st 60 Minutes: Initial Management of the Critically Ill Infant.” She’ll debunk mysteries in diagnosing and treating patients up to six months old by offering tricks to decipher physical exam findings, discussing how to strategically implement laboratory testing, and providing tips for IV placement using ultrasound.
She’ll also discuss triage protocols, like how to use guidelines on sepsis management, when to use aggressive airway management protocols, and how to implement early intervention principals to avoid further degradation of clinical status.
“My talk will be for all emergency physicians, whether they specialize in pediatrics or not, because we all treat these patients,” she said.
Dr. Walthall, who works at a level-one pediatric trauma center, has trained residents to treat critically ill infants for 15 years.