Because of unique vulnerabilities of children, their special needs should be addressed in hospital disaster planning to ensure that health care providers and health care facilities are prepared to meet the needs of this vulnerable population.
Developed by the National Library of Medicine’s Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC), in collaboration with the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) Program and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Health Resources on Children in Disasters and Emergencies is a compendium of online resources related to medical and public health issues on this topic. This resource is a compilation of multiple resources from a variety of organizations, websites, databases, and training sites.
This guide was created to help emergency managers/coordinators/hospitals in their efforts to develop their own specific departmental Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) that addresses the special needs of children and infants. This guide is meant to drive the active planning process, not to take its place. There is no single format that can adequately fit every community so this document is a culmination of best practice, expert opinions and other plans intended to assist in building your plan.
The Pediatric Surge Program was initiated following the 2009 H1N1 pandemic that disproportionately affected children and stressed hospital systems’ capacity for pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) beds and equipment, such as pediatric ventilators. This project includes a countywide plan on how each hospital within LAC would contribute to caring for pediatric patients in the event of a surge that largely impacts children.
This framework was crafted over the course of several years by a group of hospital staff and public health leaders from across the central valley region and facilitated by Hospital Council of Northern and Central California.
This resource is intended to serve as a basis for regional and local community discussions about pediatric care during a wide-scale disaster and to provide a framework for continuing collaboration.
Pediatric surge planning involves identifying knowledge gaps and insufficiency of pediatric specific supplies. The purpose of this Pediatric Surge Training Course is to help prepare general acute care facilities to the challenges of pediatrics. The course is designed for a target audience that has knowledge of disaster planning.
The Emergency Preparedness Team at Rady Children’s Hospital prepared this manual. This team includes physicians, nursing, behavioral health, surgeon, safety supervisor, trauma, pharmacy, security and disaster planning experts. The curriculum development team conducted in-depth research of best practices and other existing curricula to bring best practice.
The goal of this curriculum is to prepare hospitals and clinics have the tools to respond more effectively in a disaster which involves a surge of child victims.
This network is actively reaching out to other coalitions to identify new opportunities for collaboration with experienced groups. Since efforts to implement guidance on pediatric and neonatal preparedness share common challenges, this network is an excellent resource for collaborating on pediatric preparedness and planning throughout the medical community.
The Pediatric Disaster Resource and Training Center provides training, resources and new models of virtual linkage with health care centers throughout Los Angeles County. By providing a unique environment that marshals all the forces of pediatric disaster training, they provide excellent resources and training for the health care community.
As a multi-disciplinary team, they come together to serve children facing crises. Their subject matter experts work in partnership with nurses and staff leaders to facilitate dialogue with community leaders about best practices in regard to children in disasters.
In the event of a mass casualty incident, resources for treating pediatric victims will be limited. Staff that is inexperienced with pediatric critical injuries or illnesses will result in an inadequate surge capacity. As part of preparedness, each facility should predetermine their ability to handle pediatric victims and develop a plan to be able to increase this capacity based on a pediatric surge. There are typically fewer pediatric victims in the event of a disaster based on the assumptions related to population of pediatric vs. adult patients in the general population. A conservative estimate of pediatric victims for the purposes of planning should assume approximately 15-20% of the victims are pediatric (15 years or younger). There are many disasters (such as a school bus accident) that would alter this assumption. In the event of a pediatric disaster or disaster that involves pediatric patients, information listed in this document can assist with appropriate response.
The Joint Commission requires all hospitals to have a disaster plan in place; however, the formulation of hospital guidelines specific to pediatrics is often omitted. This document provides an outline of the necessary components of hospital preparedness for disasters involving children including the roles of hospital personnel in disasters.
This guide was prepared through a collaborative effort to assist healthcare providers assess pre-event vulnerabilities and plan for the evacuation of medically fragile Level III NICU patients while addressing core components of incident management, in conjunction with the promotion of patient safety and evacuation procedures based on lessons learned from past disasters and experiences.
All hospitals should plan for pediatric patients arriving during a disaster. The following document addresses the issues surrounding pediatric emergency care during a disaster.
It is presented under the supposition that all hospitals need to recognize the potential for receiving pediatric patients during a disaster and appropriately plan for pediatric mass casualty care. This resource is brought to you courtesy of New York City of Department of Health.
As a parent, you are in the best position to help your child in the event of a disaster. Just as you talk to your child’s doctor about his or her health, such as what to do when your child is sick or hurt, you can also talk to your child’s doctor, mental health professional, or someone at your child’s school who can help you and your child after a disaster.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) developed The Pediatric Preparedness Resource Kit in response to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. This resource allows for pediatricians, public health leaders and other pediatric care providers to assess what is already happening in their community or state, and help determine what needs to be done before an emergency or disaster. The kit will promote collaborative discussions and decision making about pediatric preparedness planning.
To help address availability and inaccessibility of resources for pediatric disaster preparedness, the EMS for Children Program developed an information network of resources targeting health providers, emergency and community planners, and families.
The primary purpose is to help communities achieve an optimal level of emergency readiness for children who are involved in an environmental, health, or man-made disaster.
The special medical needs of children make it essential that health care facilities be prepared for both pediatric and adult victims of bioterrorism attacks, including those resulting from dispersal of airborne or foodborne agents.1, 2 Moreover, while terrorist attacks on the United States have provoked the development of guidelines for hospital responses to acts of bioterrorism, few have focused on pediatric facilities.2 Compounding the problem is that many disaster plans that have been designed for children’s hospitals are not designed to accommodate large numbers of contagious individuals capable of disseminating highly lethal infectious agents.
This document is designed to address the topic of converting pediatric hospitals from standard operating capacity to surge capacity in response to large numbers of children with communicable airborne and foodborne agents.
Particular aspects of emergency care for children may be especially difficult for rural hospitals to meet as they often have less access to pediatric and emergency medicine trained physicians.
The attached study “Pediatric Care in Rural Hospital Emergency Departments”, was compiled using data analysis which compared rural and urban hospitals’ responses on various dimensions of pediatric ED care: