Broadening Access to Medical Care During a Severe Influenza Pandemic: The CDC Nurse Triage Line Project
Clinical Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, George Washington University , Washington, DCBiosecurity and bioterrorism: biodefense strategy, practice, and science (Impact Factor: 1.64). 03/2013; 11(1). DOI: 10.1089/bsp.2013.0012
The impact of a severe influenza pandemic could be overwhelming to hospital emergency departments, clinics, and medical offices if large numbers of ill people were to simultaneously seek care. While current planning guidance to reduce surge on hospitals and other medical facilities during a pandemic largely focuses on improving the "supply" of medical care services, attention on reducing "demand" for such services is needed by better matching patient needs with alternative types and sites of care. Based on lessons learned during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its partners are currently exploring the acceptability and feasibility of using a coordinated network of nurse triage telephone lines during a pandemic to assess the health status of callers, help callers determine the most appropriate site for care (eg, hospital ED, outpatient center, home), disseminate information, provide clinical advice, and provide access to antiviral medications for ill people, if appropriate. As part of this effort, the integration and coordination of poison control centers, existing nurse advice lines, 2-1-1 information lines, and other hotlines are being investigated.
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ABSTRACT: Antiviral medications can decrease the severity and duration of influenza, but they are most effective if started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. In a severe influenza pandemic, normal channels of obtaining prescriptions and medications could become overwhelmed. To assess public perception of the acceptability and feasibility of alternative strategies for prescribing, distributing, and dispensing antivirals and disseminating information about influenza and its treatment, the Institute of Medicine, with technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), convened public engagement events in 3 demographically and geographically diverse communities: Fort Benton, MT; Chattanooga, TN; and Los Angeles, CA. Participants were introduced to the issues associated with pandemic influenza and the challenges of ensuring timely public access to information and medications. They then discussed the advantages and disadvantages of 5 alternative strategies currently being considered by the CDC and its partners. Participants at all 3 venues expressed high levels of acceptance for each of the proposed strategies and contributed useful ideas to support their implementation. This article discusses the key findings from these sessions.
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ABSTRACT: Background: This article provides consensus suggestions for expanding critical care surge capacity and extension of critical care service capabilities in disasters or pandemics. It focuses on the principles and frameworks for expansion of intensive care services in hospitals in the developed world. A companion article addresses surge logistics, those elements that provide the capability to deliver mass critical care in disaster events. The suggestions in this article are important for all who are involved in large-scale disasters or pandemics with injured or critically ill multiple patients, including front-line clinicians, hospital administrators, and public health or government officials. Methods: The Surge Capacity topic panel developed 23 key questions focused on the following domains: systems issues; equipment, supplies, and pharmaceuticals; staffing; and informatics. Literature searches were conducted to identify evidence on which to base key suggestions. Most reports were small scale, were observational, or used flawed modeling; hence, the level of evidence on which to base recommendations was poor and did not permit the development of evidence-based recommendations. Therefore, the panel developed expert opinion-based suggestions using a modified Delphi process. Suggestions from the previous task force were also included for validation by the expert panel. Results: This article presents 10 suggestions pertaining to the principles that should guide surge capacity and capability planning for mass critical care, including the role of critical care in disaster planning; the surge continuum; targets of surge response; situational awareness and information sharing; mitigating the impact on critical care; planning for the care of special populations; and service deescalation/cessation (also considered as engineered failure). Conclusions: Future reports on critical care surge should emphasize population-based outcomes as well as logistical details. Planning should be based on the projected number of critically ill or injured patients resulting from specific scenarios. This should include a consideration of ICU patient care requirements over time and must factor in resource constraints that may limit the ability to provide care. Standard ICU management forms and patient data forms to assess ICU surge capacity impacts should be created and used in disaster events.
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ABSTRACT: Following the detection of a novel influenza strain A(H7N9), we modeled the use of antiviral treatment in the United States to mitigate severe disease across a range of hypothetical pandemic scenarios. Our outcomes were total demand for antiviral (neuraminidase inhibitor) treatment and the number of hospitalizations and deaths averted. The model included estimates of attack rate, healthcare-seeking behavior, prescription rates, adherence, disease severity, and the potential effect of antivirals on the risks of hospitalization and death. Based on these inputs, the total antiviral regimens estimated to be available in the United States (as of April 2013) were sufficient to meet treatment needs for the scenarios considered. However, distribution logistics were not examined and should be addressed in future work. Treatment was estimated to avert many severe outcomes (5200-248 000 deaths; 4800-504 000 hospitalizations); however, large numbers remained (25 000-425 000 deaths; 580 000-3 700 000 hospitalizations), suggesting that the impact of combinations of interventions should be examined. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
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