Guidelines on Patient Care During Volume Surges (AAP, 2022)

American Academy of Pediatrics

These are some of the highlights of the guidelines without analysis or commentary. For more information, go directly to the guidelines by clicking the link in the reference.

December 08, 2022

Clinical guidelines on pediatric patient care during periods of volume surge were released in November 2022 by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).[1]

Planning for volume surges in pediatric case loads should occur on the regional level and involve regional leadership while including all healthcare facilities, including clinics, long-term care, and acute care institutions.

Routine pediatric care should not be neglected during times of surge. Such care includes mental health care, immunizations, preventive care, and elective surgeries. These services should be prioritized as appropriate during times of surge.

Pediatric healthcare staff are critical during volume surges. Therefore, infection prevention is paramount, as is mental health support for staff. All staff should be current on influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations.

Pediatricians should be aware of state and local requirements for emergency credentialing privileges.

Healthcare facilities should utilize social media to communicate infection prevention information, proper uses of healthcare facilities, and pertinent updates to the public.

Community hospitals should be aware that adult case loads may limit the resources available to pediatric patients. Adult healthcare services should be prepared to provide care to older adolescents.

For optimal care, every pediatric patient should be able to have at least one parent or family member present at bedside. Therefore, family members with the same illness may need to be treated together, despite age differences.

Telehealth can be a valuable tool for certain patient groups during volume surges. See the AAP's telehealth policy.

Guidelines for the conservation of crucial resources, such as personal protective equipment, antimicrobial medications, oxygen, and test materials, should be put in place.

Healthcare facilities should review the Emergency Department Checklist and Toolkit from the National Pediatric Readiness Project (NPRP).


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