The pediatric committee is a mix of pediatric surgeons and adult trauma/acute care surgeons committed to representing pediatric-specific needs and issues for the AAST and its membership. At the recent Annual Meeting, we were pleased to offer a well-attended pre-conference focused on pediatric acute care surgery and the role of the adult acute care surgeon. The committee also hosted a lunch session on pediatric resuscitation that was valuable for both adult trauma surgeons as well as the pediatric surgical membership.
This year the committee will work closely with the AAST leadership and its members to develop a strategic role for how this committee will support the needs of the membership while simultaneously working to have an impact on pediatric trauma care through research, education, and advocacy. The committee members understand that most pediatric trauma care in the country is managed either exclusively, or in collaboration with, adult trauma surgeons. The pediatric surgeons on the committee are also acutely aware of the need for pediatric surgeons to learn from our colleagues in adult trauma care, and to advocate for the inclusion of children within trauma system and acute care surgery planning and preparation. Both of these issues will be central themes as we clarify the role of this committee.
In addition to these overarching goals, committee members will contribute to articles for the “Needle Point” column of the newsletter. Led by Dr. David Notrica, we have several exciting topics lined up for this year: Pediatric Burns—Small Burns Need Love Too; The Largest Paperweights in the Bay? FAST in Pediatric Trauma; An Underserved Population?; Vascular Injuries; and several other great topics. The committee would welcome requests from the membership for future topics of interest.
The committee—led by Drs. Tres Scherer, Barbara Gaines, and Mary Fallat—is also working to better understand the educational needs and potential role of the acute care surgeon in managing acute pediatric surgical issues. This issue is particularly relevant in areas of the country underserved by pediatric surgeons and pediatric trauma centers. Although a complex issue, that was well-discussed by Dr. Fallat at our pre-conference session, our committee will work collaboratively with other organizations such as the American Pediatric Surgical Association and the Acute Care Surgery Committee, as well as the entire AAST membership, to make progress collaboratively.
Finally, this year the committee will again focus on developing a valued pediatric pre-conference session as well as several lunch sessions for the membership. Although the committee has begun to brainstorm on some topics, we welcome suggestions from the entire membership. Pediatric committee members will also be available and involved in the overall strategic initiatives of the AAST moving forward, and we will happily support any of the other AAST committees to ensure that the voice of the pediatric patient is included.