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Emergency Medicine - Research

Research among the faculty reflects a wide variety of clinical interests. The significant prevalence of pediatric trauma patients has led to projects in injury prevention, such as the evaluation of child safety in vehicles in the rural areas of Colorado and the development and support of child passenger safety initiatives. The epidemiology of traumatic injuries at our Pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center is being compared with that of other institutions. Large numbers of trauma patients have also resulted in studies of the appropriate and best use of sedation and analgesia as well as regional nerve blocks for orthopedic injuries and painful procedures.

Common respiratory illnesses are under investigation through the study of outpatient home oxygen therapy for patients with bronchiolitis, the utilization of chest radiographs in first-time wheezing episodes, and the best approaches to patients who present with acute asthma. Important advances in the field of pediatric emergency medicine, such as the use of the observation unit to prevent hospital admissions for conditions such as dehydration, concussions, and asthma, are also being investigated.

The faculty is particularly interested in emergency department practice variation, resource utilization, and predictors of patient care outcomes in various settings. These interests have resulted in pediatric health services research as well as studies focusing on the usefulness of various radiology modalities and laboratory tests in the evaluation of common pediatric disease. Additional important questions that have application outside the emergency setting include the effects of language barriers on patient care and the use of interpreters to improve care.