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Pediatric disaster preparedness

identifying challenges and opportunities for emergency department planning

Gilchrist, Nancy; Simpson, Joelle N.

Current Opinion in Pediatrics: June 2019 - Volume 31 - Issue 3 - p 306–311
doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000000750
EMERGENCY AND CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE: Edited by Jean E. Klig and Clifford W. Bogue

Purpose of review To review the current literature on best practices for pediatric disaster preparedness in an emergency department (ED).

Recent findings Children have unique anatomical, physiologic, immunologic, and psychosocial needs that impact their vulnerability to and resilience in a disaster, yet they have been historically underrepresented in disaster planning at local and national levels. Lessons learned from recent disaster events, disaster research, and disaster experts provide guidance on pediatric disaster preparedness for ED.

Summary All EDs should include children in their disaster plans and exercises. ED staff should be knowledgeable about their role in institutional disaster operations and familiar with standard disaster management principles.

Division of Emergency Medicine & Trauma Center, Children's National Medical Center, NW, Washington DC, USA

Correspondence to Joelle N. Simpson, MD, MPH, Emergency Medicine & Trauma Center, Children's National Medical Center, 111 Michigan Ave, NW, DC 20010, USA. Tel: +1 202 476 4177; e-mail:

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