As a dual residency doc who splits his time between a Pedi ER and an Adult
ER, I feel strongly that the average young adult has more in common with
our pediatric patients than the octogenarians seen next door. If the Peds
ER has resources (docs, nurses, rooms) available, then they can provide
excellent care to young adults who otherwise might not get seen. As others
have commented, though, age is not the only factor that should be used. We
have found that it's important for the peds group to be able to cherry-pick
patients from the adult waiting room that are both appropriate for the Peds
area as well as matching the comfort level of the attending.

It's also a great way for the Peds ER to smooth out some of the diurnal
variability (which is generally larger in Peds than Adult ERs). Many
mid-size hospitals may not be able to staff a Peds ER if they only see kids
15 and under. A little flexibility goes a long way towards providing better
care for all our patients.



Ward Myers, MD MPH

Department of Pediatrics

Department of Emergency Medicine

Boston University/Boston Medical Center

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