Author: Muhammad A. Hamid, Sohaib Siddiqui, Ayesha Chandna, Aliya Ariz, Dennis Scolnik.

Emergency departments deal with a spectrum of sick, distressed, and critically ill patients. For many patients, especially children, experiencing an emergency department can be a traumatic experience in itself. One personal experience firmly etched in the principal author’s mind is of a mother in the emergency department desperately trying to cover her 5-year-old daughter’s eyes and ears to shield her from the screams of a nearby adult in pain, and the swearing of another disgruntled patient. Unfortunately, scenarios like these will inevitably arise in Canadian community hospital emergency departments, where children routinely share waiting and treatment areas with adult patients. We propose that a standardized Canadian guideline be developed to improve the environment and facilities provided to children in such combined emergency departments (cEDs). Such a guideline will hopefully improve the quality of health care for both pediatric and adult patients, while standardizing facilities available to children outside of specialized tertiary pediatric centres.

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