Pediatric issues in disaster management, Part 1: The emergency medical system and surge capacity

Sharon E. Mace, MD, Ghazala Sharieff, MD, Andrew Bern, MD, Lee Benjamin, MD, Dave Burbulys, MD, Ramon Johnson, MD, Merritt Schreiber, PhD

Abstract


Although children and infants are likely to be victims in a disaster and are more vulnerable in a disaster than adults, disaster planning and management has often overlooked the specific needs of pediatric patients. The authors discuss key components of disaster planning and management for pediatric patients, including emergency medical services, hospital/facility issues, evacuation centers, family separation/reunification, children with special healthcare needs (SHCNs), mental health issues, and overcrowding/ surge capacity. Specific policy recommendations and an appendix with detailed practical information and algorithms are included.The first part of this three-part series on pediatric issues in disaster management addresses the emergency medical system from the field to the hospital and surge capacity including the impact of crowding.
The second part addresses the appropriate setup and functioning of evacuation centers and family separation and reunification.The third part deals with special patient populations: children with SHCNs and mental health issues.


Keywords


disaster, pediatric disasters, pediatrics, children, infants

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5055/ajdm.2010.0011

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