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May 1997

Family Practitioner Preparedness for Pediatric Emergencies-Reply

Author Affiliations

Division of General Pediatrics Boston Medical Center One Medical Center Place, Maternity 419 Boston, Mass
Rockville, Md

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(5):531. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170420100023

In our study,1 we emphasized the need for research on whether demographic and geographic factors are important determinants of variations in the emergency preparedness of pediatric office practices. The findings of the pilot study of Martinot et al are, therefore, of interest.

One key methodological issue of the study by Martinot et al, however, needs to be considered. Their study focused exclusively on family practitioners. The age, disease severity, and spectrum of illness of patients in these practices were not mentioned. Family practitioners treat a substantial number of adults, many of whom are elderly. Compared with children, these patients tend to have much greater morbidity, co-morbidity, and mortality and more frequent and severe emergencies. A priori, we would thus expect office equipment differences between French family practitioners and North American pediatricians. Furthermore, such comparisons may not always be relevant or useful. For example, of the 19% of