Lessons from the Design and Implementation of a Pediatric Critical Care and Emergency Medicine Training Program in a Low Resource Country— The South American Experience
Michelle Grunauer, MD, PhD
Dean of School of Medicine Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador
For more than 60 years, the world has recognized the need for pediatric critical care (PCC). Today, most low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) still lack access to pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) and specialists, resulting in high rates of morbidity and mortality. These disparities result from several infrastructure and socioeconomic factors, chief among them is the lack of trained PCC and emergency medicine (PCCEM) frontline providers. In this seminar, we describe a continuing medical education model to increase frontline PCC capacity in Ecuador. The Laude in PCCEM is a program created by a team of Ecuadorian physicians at the University San Francisco de Quito School of Medicine. The program is aimed at providers with no formal training in PCC and who, nonetheless, care for critically ill children. The program resulted in stronger, more cohesive PICU teams with improved resuscitation times and coordination during simulation rounds. In hospitals that implemented the program, we saw decrease PICU mortality rates. Our aim is to identify the opportunities and challenges learned and to offer lessons for other countries that use similar models to cope with the lack of local resource availability.