The St. Francois County Ambulance District STARS (Special Needs Tracking and Awareness Response System) program is a critical initiative that enhances emergency care for children with special healthcare needs. Preparing emergency medical services and hospital staff to handle complex situations involving such children is crucial, ensuring they receive the best possible care during emergencies.

Understanding the STARS Program

SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital developed the STARS program to focus on children with complex medical conditions that might necessitate special consideration during emergencies. The program trains emergency responders and hospital personnel on the specific needs of these children, equipping them with the knowledge and tools to handle unique medical situations effectively. This initiative aims to improve immediate response and seeks to educate and integrate a broader spectrum of the healthcare system to accommodate these vulnerable patients’ needs better.

Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital

How STARS Works

The STARS program registers children with special healthcare needs in a database accessible to first responders and medical personnel during emergencies. St. Francois County Ambulance District is alerted when a new STARS kid is registered in our district. All staff is alerted of the new STARS kid with a detailed explanation of their special needs, diagnosis, medical history, medication list and allergies, anticipated emergencies, and cautionary notes. This crucial information allows St. Francois County Ambulance District to be well prepared, already having all important information, before making first contact with the patient during an emergency. STARS greatly enhances the effectiveness of emergency medical care for our STARS kids within St. Francois County.

Benefits of the sTARS Program

Reduced Emergency Response Time: Access to a pre-registered database allows first responders to act quickly and efficiently, tailoring their interventions to the child’s specific medical conditions.

Increased Awareness and Preparedness: Training provided through the STARS program raises emergency personnel’s awareness of the variety of special conditions they might encounter, from autism to complex cardiac conditions.

Better Outcomes: With specialized knowledge and immediate access to medical histories, emergency personnel can prevent complications and improve health outcomes for children with special needs

Empowerment of Families: Families of children with special needs often face increased anxiety during emergencies. Knowing that the responders are well-informed and prepared provides significant peace of mind.

A. The main goal is to ensure that first responders have the necessary information and training to care for children with special medical needs during emergencies effectively.

A. It decreases anxiety during emergencies, ensures appropriate and quick medical response, prepares St. Francos County Ambulance District Paramedics with the information needed to better understand their unique situation, and reduces unnecessary hospitalizations, lowering healthcare costs.

A. Children across multiple counties with conditions like heart defects, autism, severe neurological disorders, and so much more benefit from this program.

It is available in over 30 counties and is managed through partnerships with hospitals and emergency medical services to cover as many areas as possible.