Initial Pediatric Assessment in the Emergency Room

  • Eduardo Cázares-Ramírez Instituto Nacional de Pediatría
  • Mario Acosta-Bastidas Instituto Nacional de Pediatría


In pediatrics, the priority goals of emergency medicine are:
recognize a child with a life-threatening condition and establish
priorities for care.

In some aspects, pediatric assessment is difficult because it requires
knowledge of normal and abnormal child development and specific skills in assessing patients.
The classic assessment has the purpose of establishing a specific
diagnosis, which can be time consuming in a situation where lack of optimization can have life or death consequences.

Initial assessment is a process different from diagnosis; the primary objective of the former is to identify anatomic and physiological abnormalities, in order to assess the patient’s severity and determine the promptitude and intensity of initial treatment.
In this phase, examining room and laboratory studies are not decisive components. General, or specific, treatment focuses on restoring bodily and physiological homeostasis, in other words to prevent evolution to respiratory failure, shock, or cardiopulmonary insufficiency. It is not the time to make a specific diagnosis.

Biografía del autor/a

Eduardo Cázares-Ramírez, Instituto Nacional de Pediatría
Pediatric emergency specialist
Mario Acosta-Bastidas, Instituto Nacional de Pediatría
Head Emergency Department


Taken and adapted from: Dieckmann RA. Pediatric Assessment.

In: APLS: The Pediatric Emergency Medicine Resource, Fifth Edition (American Academy of Pediatrics); 2011. P. 2-33.

Dieckmann AR, Brownstein D, Gausche-Hill M. The Pediatric Assessment Triangle. A Novel Approach for the Rapid Evaluation of Children. Ped Emerg Care 2010;26:312-315.

Kleinman ME, Chameides L, Schexnayder SM, Samson RA, Hazinski M, Atkins DL, et al. Part 14: Pediatric Advanced Life Support: 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines. Circulation 2010;122:S876-S908.

Cómo citar
Cázares-Ramírez, E., & Acosta-Bastidas, M. (2014). Initial Pediatric Assessment in the Emergency Room. Acta Pediátrica De México, 35(1), 82-87.
Criterios pediátricos