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AAP Statement on Final Passage of Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization

9/16/2014 By: James M. Perrin, MD, FAAP, president, American Academy of Pediatrics

"The American Academy of Pediatrics commends Congress for passing legislation (S. 2154) reauthorizing the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program for five more years. The bipartisan effort to renew this crucial program before its expiration at the end of the month speaks to its effectiveness. EMSC is the only federal program focused on ensuring that children and adolescents receive emergency medical care designed specifically for them in times of immediate need. ‚Äč

"Pediatric emergency services begin the moment a call is placed with 9-1-1 and extend until a child is safely returned home, and pediatricians understand all too well that the quality of medical and surgical care administered to a child during an emergency can have lifelong consequences.

"All children deserve optimal emergency care no matter where they live. We don't know when or how an emergency will occur, but through EMSC, we do know that our national emergency medical services system has the appropriate training, equipment, and resources to provide high quality care to children.

"As this legislation advances to President Obama for signature into law, pediatricians thank EMSC's champions in Congress: Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) for sponsoring the legislation, as well as leaders from the Senate Health, Education and Pensions Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee for working to advance it. Pediatricians join legislators in celebrating EMSC's 30th anniversary this year and all the program does for children."

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.