Consent form improves emergency care for kids

It’s hard for parents to imagine their child needing emergency medical services when they’re not around — but there are many times when this happens, especially on weekdays when parents are at work and children are in school.

That’s why at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital we have developed an emergency consent form to ensure children receive the care they need, as quickly as possible, in any pediatric emergency room.

Although most public and private schools have similar consent forms, many small preschool and daycare providers do not include them in the registration process.

Here’s a common scenario: a child injures her head or arm in a fall, or has an unanticipated allergic reaction during the day. The concerned daycare provider or caregiver calls 911, and paramedics respond, often transporting the child to a pediatric emergency room.

When the child arrives without parents, having important information in hand, including the name of the child’s primary care provider, helps ensure the best possible care is quickly administered.

Our experience has been that when emergency consent forms are presented immediately upon arrival to the OHSU Doernbecher Emergency Room, they save time and improve care. Of course, our staff will immediately contact you, the family, so that you can be at the bedside to support your child.

Be sure to fill out one form for each of your children, and ask your daycare provider, babysitter or caregiver to have these forms readily available in case of an emergency. Providing these forms to us during an emergency will help ensure your child receives the right care, right away.

David Spiro, M.D., M.P.H.
Medical Director and Associate Professor
Departments of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital