AHRQ addresses special needs of pediatric units during public health emergencies

Emergency Management Alert, May 12, 2009

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released a monograph addressing how pediatric hospitals and units should prepare for bioterrorism attacks. The document focuses on how hospitals can convert to adapt to a surge of children with communicable airborne and foodborne agents.

Though many hospitals have plans for such attacks, they lack specific plans for pediatric populations, according to the AHRQ. This document addresses some factors unique to pediatric populations in the event of a surge in population due to an attack, including separation from parents, supervision, and a surge in critically ill children in general or adult-only hospitals.

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