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Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2011 Nov;12(6 Suppl):S120-7. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0b013e318234a6b9.

Supplies and equipment for pediatric emergency mass critical care.

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Department of Critical Care Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Epidemics of acute respiratory disease, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003, and natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, have prompted planning in hospitals that offer adult critical care to increase their capacity and equipment inventory for responding to a major demand surge. However, planning at a national, state, or local level to address the particular medical resource needs of children for mass critical care has yet to occur in any coordinated way. This paper presents the consensus opinion of the Task Force regarding supplies and equipment that would be required during a pediatric mass critical care crisis.


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.


The Task Force endorsed the view that supplies and equipment must be available for a tripling of capacity above the usual peak pediatric intensive care unit capacity for at least 10 days. The recommended size-specific pediatric mass critical care equipment stockpile for two types of patients is presented in terms of equipment needs per ten mass critical care beds, which would serve 26 patients over a 10-day period. Specific recommendations are made regarding ventilator capacity, including the potential use of high-frequency oscillatory ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Other recommendations include inventories for disposable medical equipment, medications, and staffing levels.

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