Most kids aren't that sick in the ED. Some are downright well. After working there for a while, you're sicker than most of them because they've given you GI junk and URI junk and maybe some rash junk, too.
When they ARE sick, good God, it's scary. We had an ambulance call, not a trauma call, come in the other day, of a 3 year old, head versus TV, and 'altered'.
To prepare in my head, though I would never be the one to do it as an Intern, I reviewed RSI doses--0.2 mg/kg etomidate, 2 mg/kg succinylcholine, estimate for a 3 year old about 15 Kg, so 3 mg and 30 mg.
He came in moaning, not in a C-collar, his right arm flexed, eyes closed. GCS? 1 for eyes, 3 for pediatric moaning, 3 for flexion posture--seven. Needed a tube.
We took him into the trauma bay, and held C-spine precautions while I realized I didn't know how to work the C-collars we have at children's because I've never done it. Having never done a peds trauma resuscitation, I was sort of useless--I could hold the bag on and do the ATLS algorithm in my head, but so what?
IV in 2 minutes, intubated in 5, CT scanner in 10. Pretty good. The kids are so small and everyone is so intense, pediatric traumas are frenetic. Everyone is close together. The sphincter tone in the room is incredible.
His CT scan showed a skull fracture and air all over, with 2 mm of midline shift. Hopefully he'll do better.
That's Peds EM this month--95% BS snot and wheezing or their leg looks funny but doesn't hurt, and 5% holy crap.