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Institute for Prehospital Pediatrics and Community Research (IPPER)
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Institute for Prehospital Pediatrics and Community Research (IPPER)

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The Institute for Prehospital Pediatrics and Community Research (IPPER) supports the collaborative efforts of Children’s National Medical Center and the national Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) community to continually improve emergency care for infants, children, and teens.

Established more than 20 years ago, the mission of the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Program is to ensure all ill and injured children and adolescents receive state-of-the-art emergency care, from prevention to acute care and rehabilitation.

On behalf of Children’s National and the EMSC community, the institute manages a large portfolio of programs and research to study the care of critically-ill and injured children in the Washington, DC, region and provides resources to the national EMSC community.

Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC)
The EMSC program supports improvements in the quality of pediatric medical care to reduce childhood morbidity and mortality resulting from severe illness or trauma. This federal initiative evolved out of a growing recognition that children have unique needs in emergencies, which often vary from those of adults due to physiological, developmental, and psychological differences. The program is federally funded to expand and improve emergency medical services for children in each state.
Examples of how EMSC has influenced emergency care for children:
• Improved availability of child-appropriate equipment in ambulances and emergency departments
• The development of programs to prevent injuries and provide thousands of hours of training in pediatric care for emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, and other emergency medical care providers
• Legislation mandating EMSC programs in several states and the development of educational materials to cover every aspect of pediatric emergency care

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EMSC in the Nation’s Capital
IPPER has an ongoing relationship with the Washington, DC, Department of Health and EMS Advisory Committee. This partnership successfully revised the prehospital pediatric protocols to reflect a state-of-the-art standard of care adapted to the needs of the nation’s capital. The District of Columbia’s EMSC program facilitates direct and indirect pediatric medical oversight for prehospital care through updated protocols and education courses such as PALS (Pediatric Advance Life Support). 

IPPER Projects

PECARN is the first federally funded pediatric emergency medicine research network, consisting of more than 20 hospital emergency departments dedicated to rigorous, multi-institutional research on the prevention, and management of acute illness and injury in children. PECARN is one of four nodes comprising the organizational structure of the national Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN). PECARN has a dedicated governance structure that maintains stringent project oversight and management to monitor quality assurance and provide additional data management and analysis support. For more information on PECARN and PECARN-related research, visit

Children with Special Healthcare Needs
IPPER addresses the development and implementation of model emergency medical system (EMS) protocols for children with special healthcare needs. The program developed a Special Children's Outreach and Prehospital Education (SCOPE) curriculum, which educates prehospital medical providers on tools, techniques, and orientation to the special needs of medically complicated children.

The EMS Outreach program connects the parents of children with special healthcare needs with local EMS providers to ensure that a child’s needs are better met in case of a medical emergency.

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- Departments & Programs - Children's National Medical Center