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Disaster Preparedness: Hospital Decontamination and the Pediatric Patient— Guidelines for Hospitals and Emergency Planners

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 June 2012

Christopher W. Freyberg*
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA
Bonnie Arquilla
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Baruch S. Fertel
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital, New York, New York, USA
Michael G. Tunik
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital, New York, New York, USA
Arthur Cooper
Affiliation:
Department of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. New York, New York, USA
Dennis Heon
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital, New York, New York, USA
Stephan A. Kohlhoff
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics, State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Katherine I. Uraneck
Affiliation:
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, New York, USA
George L. Foltin
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital, New York, New York, USA
*
State University of New York Health, Science Center at Brooklyn Box 1260, 440 Lenox Road Brooklyn, New York 11203 USA E-mail: bonnie.arquilla@downstate.edu

Abstract

In recent years, attention has been given to disaster preparedness for first responders and first receivers (hospitals). One such focus involves the decontamination of individuals who have fallen victim to a chemical agent from an attack or an accident involving hazardous materials. Children often are overlooked in disaster planning. Children are vulnerable and have specific medical and psychological requirements. There is a need to develop specific protocols to address pediatric patients who require decontamination at the entrance of hospital emergency departments. Currently, there are no published resources that meet this need. An expert panel convened by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene developed policies and procedures for the decontamination of pediatric patients.The panel was comprised of experts from a variety of medical and psychosocial areas.Using an iterative process, the panel created guidelines that were approved by the stakeholders and are presented in this paper.These guidelines must be utilized, studied, and modified to increase the likelihood that they will work during an emergency situation.

Type
Comprehensive Review
Copyright
Copyright © World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2008

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