Neonatal and pediatric regionalized systems in pediatric emergency mass critical care
ABSTRACT Improved health outcomes are associated with neonatal and pediatric critical care in well-organized, cohesive, regionalized systems that are prepared to support and rehabilitate critically ill victims of a mass casualty event. However, present systems lack adequate surge capacity for neonatal and pediatric mass critical care. In this document, we outline the present reality and suggest alternative approaches.
In May 2008, the Task Force for Mass Critical Care published guidance on provision of mass critical care to adults. Acknowledging that the critical care needs of children during disasters were unaddressed by this effort, a 17-member Steering Committee, assembled by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education with guidance from members of the American Academy of Pediatrics, convened in April 2009 to determine priority topic areas for pediatric emergency mass critical care recommendations.Steering Committee members established subcommittees by topic area and performed literature reviews of MEDLINE and Ovid databases. The Steering Committee produced draft outlines through consensus-based study of the literature and convened October 6-7, 2009, in New York, NY, to review and revise each outline. Eight draft documents were subsequently developed from the revised outlines as well as through searches of MEDLINE updated through March 2010.The Pediatric Emergency Mass Critical Care Task Force, composed of 36 experts from diverse public health, medical, and disaster response fields, convened in Atlanta, GA, on March 29-30, 2010. Feedback on each manuscript was compiled and the Steering Committee revised each document to reflect expert input in addition to the most current medical literature.
States and regions (facilitated by federal partners) should review current emergency operations and devise appropriate plans to address the population-based needs of infants and children in large-scale disasters. Action at the state, regional, and federal levels should address legal, operational, and information systems to provide effective pediatric mass critical care through: 1) predisaster/mass casualty planning, management, and assessment with input from child health professionals; 2) close cooperation, agreements, public-private partnerships, and unique delivery systems; and 3) use of existing public health data to assess pediatric populations at risk and to model graded response plans based on increasing patient volume and acuity.
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ABSTRACT: As a result of recent events, including natural disasters and pandemics, mass critical care planning has become a priority. In general, planning involves limiting the scope of disasters, increasing the supply of medical resources, and allocating scarce resources. Entities at varying levels have articulated ethical frameworks to inform policy development. In spite of this increased focus, children have received limited attention. Children require special attention because of their unique vulnerabilities and needs. In May 2008, the Task Force for Mass Critical Care published guidance on provision of mass critical care to adults. Acknowledging that the critical care needs of children during disasters were unaddressed by this effort, a 17-member Steering Committee, assembled by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education with guidance from members of the American Academy of Pediatrics, convened in April 2009 to determine priority topic areas for pediatric emergency mass critical care recommendations.Steering Committee members established subgroups by topic area and performed literature reviews of MEDLINE and Ovid databases. Draft documents were subsequently developed and revised based on the feedback from the Task Force. The Pediatric Emergency Mass Critical Care Task Force, composed of 36 experts from diverse public health, medical, and disaster response fields, convened in Atlanta, GA, on March 29-30, 2010. This document reflects expert input from the Task Force in addition to the most current medical literature. The Ethics Subcommittee recommends that surge planning seek to provide resources for children in proportion to their percentage of the population or preferably, if data are available, the percentage of those affected by the disaster. Generally, scarce resources should be allocated on the basis of need, benefit, and the conservation of resources. Estimates of need, benefit, and resource utilization may be more subjective or objective. While the Subcommittee favors more objective methods, pediatrics lacks a simple, validated scoring system to predict benefit or resource utilization. The Subcommittee hesitantly recommends relying on expert opinion while pediatric triage tools are developed. If resources remain inadequate, they should then be allocated based on queuing or lottery. Choosing between these methods is based on ethical, psychological, and practical considerations upon which the Subcommittee could not reach consensus. The Subcommittee unanimously believes the proposal to favor individuals between 15 and 40 yrs of age is inappropriate. Other age-based criteria and criteria based on social role remain controversial. The Subcommittee recommends continued work to engage all stakeholders, especially the public, in deliberation about these issues.Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 11/2011; 12(6 Suppl):S163-8. DOI:10.1097/PCC.0b013e318234a88b · 2.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To empirically describe the integration of pediatric disaster services into regional systems of care after the April 27, 2011, tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a community with no pediatric emergency department or pediatric intensive care unit and few pediatric subspecialists. Data were obtained in interviews with key informants including professional staff and managers from public health and emergency management agencies, prehospital emergency medical services, fire departments, hospital nurses, physicians, and the trauma program coordinator. A single hospital in Tuscaloosa served 800 patients on the night of the tornado. More than 100 of these patients were children, including more than 20 with critical injuries. Many children were unaccompanied and unidentified on arrival. Resuscitation and stabilization were performed by nonpediatric prehospital and emergency department staff. More than 20 children were secondarily transported to the nearest children's hospital an hour's drive away under the care of nonpediatric local emergency medical services providers. No preventable adverse events were identified in the resuscitation and secondary transport phases of care. Stockpiled supplies and equipment were adequate to serve the needs of the disaster victims, including the children. Essential aspects of preparation include pediatric-specific clinical skills, supplies and equipment, operational disaster plans, and interagency practice embedded in everyday work. Opportunities for improvement identified include more timely response to warnings, improved practices for identifying unaccompanied children, and enhanced child safety in shelters. Successful responses depended on integration of pediatric services into regional systems of care.The Journal of pediatrics 03/2012; 161(3):526-530.e1. DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.02.016 · 3.79 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The objective is to describe by geographic proximity the extent to which the US pediatric population (aged 0-17 years) has access to pediatric and other specialized critical care facilities, and to highlight regional differences in population and critical resource distribution for preparedness planning and utilization during a mass public health disaster. The analysis focused on pediatric hospitals and pediatric and general medical/surgical hospitals with specialized pediatric critical care capabilities, including pediatric intensive care units (PICU), pediatric cardiac ICUs (PCICU), level I and II trauma and pediatric trauma centers, and general and pediatric burn centers. The proximity analysis uses a geographic information system overlay function: spatial buffers or zones of a defined radius are superimposed on a dasymetric map of the pediatric population. By comparing the population living within the zones to the total population, the proportion of children with access to each type of specialized unit can be estimated. The project was conducted in three steps: preparation of the geospatial layer of the pediatric population using dasymetric mapping methods; preparation of the geospatial layer for each resource zone including the identification, verification, and location of hospital facilities with the target resources; and proximity analysis of the pediatric population within these zones. Nationally, 63.7% of the pediatric population lives within 50 miles of a pediatric hospital; 81.5% lives within 50 miles of a hospital with a PICU; 76.1% lives within 50 miles of a hospital with a PCICU; 80.2% lives within 50 miles of a level I or II trauma center; and 70.8% lives within 50 miles of a burn center. However, state-specific proportions vary from less than 10% to virtually 100%. Restricting the burn and trauma centers to pediatric units only decreases the national proportion to 26.3% for pediatric burn centers and 53.1% for pediatric trauma centers. This geospatial analysis describes the current state of pediatric critical care hospital resources and provides a visual and analytic overview of existing gaps in local pediatric hospital coverage. It also highlights the use of dasymetric mapping as a tool for public health preparedness planning.Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness 06/2012; 6(2):117-25. DOI:10.1001/dmp.2012.28 · 0.70 Impact Factor