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Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters: CHEST Consensus Statement

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):2S. doi:10.1378/chest.1464S2
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American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
American Association for Respiratory Care
American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma
International Society of Nephrology
Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
Society of Critical Care Medicine
Society of Hospital Medicine
World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies
World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):3S-6S. doi:10.1378/chest.1464S3
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Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters: CHEST Consensus Statement

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):7S. doi:10.1378/chest.1464S4
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Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters: CHEST Consensus Statement

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):8S-34S. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0732
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Natural disasters, industrial accidents, terrorism attacks, and pandemics all have the capacity to result in large numbers of critically ill or injured patients. This supplement provides suggestions for all of those involved in a disaster or pandemic with multiple critically ill patients, including front-line clinicians, hospital administrators, professional societies, and public health or government officials. The current Task Force included a total of 100 participants from nine countries, comprised of clinicians and experts from a wide variety of disciplines. Comprehensive literature searches were conducted to identify studies upon which evidence-based recommendations could be made. No studies of sufficient quality were identified. Therefore, the panel developed expert-opinion-based suggestions that are presented in this supplement using a modified Delphi process. The ultimate aim of the supplement is to expand the focus beyond the walls of ICUs to provide recommendations for the management of all critically ill or injured adults and children resulting from a pandemic or disaster wherever that care may be provided. Considerations for the management of critically ill patients include clinical priorities and logistics (supplies, evacuation, and triage) as well as the key enablers (systems planning, business continuity, legal framework, and ethical considerations) that facilitate the provision of this care. The supplement also aims to illustrate how the concepts of mass critical care are integrated across the spectrum of surge events from conventional through contingency to crisis standards of care.

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):35S-41S. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0746
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BACKGROUND:  Natural disasters, industrial accidents, terrorism attacks, and pandemics all have the capacity to result in large numbers of critically ill or injured patients. This supplement provides suggestions for all those involved in a disaster or pandemic with multiple critically ill patients, including front-line clinicians, hospital administrators, professional societies, and public health or government officials. The field of disaster medicine does not have the required body of evidence needed to undergo a traditional guideline development process. In result, consensus statement-development methodology was used to capture the highest-caliber expert opinion in a structured, scientific approach.

METHODS:  Task Force Executive Committee members identified core topic areas regarding the provision of care to critically ill or injured patients from pandemics or disasters and subsequently assembled an international panel for each identified area. International disaster medicine experts were brought together to identify key questions (in a population, intervention, comparator, outcome [PICO]-based format) within each of the core topic areas. Comprehensive literature searches were then conducted to identify studies upon which evidence-based recommendations could be made. No studies of sufficient quality were identified. Therefore, the panel developed expert opinion-based suggestions that are presented in this supplement using a modified Delphi process.

RESULTS:  A total of 315 suggestions were drafted across all topic groups. After two rounds of a Delphi consensus-development process, 267 suggestions were chosen by the panel to include in the document and published in a total of 12 manuscripts composing the core chapters of this supplement. Draft manuscripts were prepared by the topic editor and members of the working groups for each of the topics, producing a total of 11 papers. Once the preliminary drafts were received, the Executive Committee (Writing Committee) then met to review, edit, and promote alignment of all of the primary drafts of the manuscripts prepared by the topic editors and their groups. The topic editors then revised their manuscripts based on the Executive Committee’s edits and comments. The Writing Committee subsequently reviewed the updated drafts and prepared the final manuscripts for submission to the Guidelines Oversight Committee (GOC). The manuscripts subsequently underwent review by the GOC, including external review as well as peer review for the journal publication. The Writing Committee received the feedback from the reviewers and modified the manuscripts as required.

CONCLUSIONS:  Based on a robust and transparent process, this project used rigorous methodology to produce clinically relevant, trustworthy consensus statements, with the aim to provide needed guidance on treatment and procedures for practitioners, hospital administrators, and public health and government officials when addressing the care of critically ill or injured patients in disasters or pandemics.

Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters: CHEST Consensus Statement Online Only Articles

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):e1S-e16S. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0733
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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.

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):e17S-e43S. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0734
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BACKGROUND:  Successful management of a pandemic or disaster requires implementation of preexisting plans to minimize loss of life and maintain control. Managing the expected surges in intensive care capacity requires strategic planning from a systems perspective and includes focused intensive care abilities and requirements as well as all individuals and organizations involved in hospital and regional planning. The suggestions in this article are important for all involved in a large-scale disaster or pandemic, including front-line clinicians, hospital administrators, and public health or government officials. Specifically, this article focuses on surge logistics—those elements that provide the capability to deliver mass critical care.

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 studies upon which evidence-based recommendations could be made. The results were reviewed for relevance to the topic, and the articles were screened by two topic editors for placement within one of the surge domains noted previously. 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. The Surge Capacity topic panel subsequently followed the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) Guidelines Oversight Committee’s methodology to develop suggestion based on expert opinion using a modified Delphi process.

RESULTS:  This article presents 22 suggestions pertaining to surge capacity mass critical care, including requirements for equipment, supplies, and pharmaceuticals; staff preparation and organization; methods of mitigating overwhelming patient loads; the role of deployable critical care services; and the use of transportation assets to support the surge response.

CONCLUSIONS:  Critical care response to a disaster relies on careful planning for staff and resource augmentation and involves many agencies. Maximizing the use of regional resources, including staff, equipment, and supplies, extends critical care capabilities. Regional coalitions should be established to facilitate agreements, outline operational plans, and coordinate hospital efforts to achieve predetermined goals. Specialized physician oversight is necessary and if not available on site, may be provided through remote consultation. Triage by experienced providers, reverse triage, and service deescalation may be used to minimize ICU resource consumption. During a temporary loss of infrastructure or overwhelmed hospital resources, deployable critical care services should be considered.

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):e44S-e60S. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0735
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BACKGROUND:  Despite the high risk for patient harm during unanticipated ICU evacuations, critical care providers receive little to no training on how to perform safe and effective ICU evacuations. We reviewed the pertinent published literature and offer suggestions for the critical care provider regarding ICU evacuation. The suggestions in this article are important for all who are involved in pandemics or disasters with multiple critically ill or injured patients, including front-line clinicians, hospital administrators, and public health or government officials.

METHODS:  The Evacuation and Mobilization topic panel used the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) Guidelines Oversight Committee’s methodology to develop seven key questions for which specific literature searches were conducted to identify studies upon which evidence-based recommendations could be made. No studies of sufficient quality were identified. Therefore, the panel developed expert opinion-based suggestions using a modified Delphi process.

RESULTS:  Based on current best evidence, we provide 13 suggestions outlining a systematic approach to prepare for and execute an effective ICU evacuation during a disaster. Interhospital and intrahospital collaboration and functional ICU communication are critical for success. Pre-event planning and preparation are required for a no-notice evacuation. A Critical Care Team Leader must be designated within the Hospital Incident Command System. A three-stage ICU Evacuation Timeline, including (1) no immediate threat, (2) evacuation threat, and (3) evacuation implementation, should be used. Detailed suggestions on ICU evacuation, including regional planning, evacuation drills, patient transport preparation and equipment, patient prioritization and distribution for evacuation, patient information and tracking, and federal and international evacuation assistance systems, are also provided.

CONCLUSIONS:  Successful ICU evacuation during a disaster requires active preparation, participation, communication, and leadership by critical care providers. Critical care providers have a professional obligation to become better educated, prepared, and engaged with the processes of ICU evacuation to provide a safe continuum of critical care during a disaster.

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):e61S-e74S. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0736
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BACKGROUND:  Pandemics and disasters can result in large numbers of critically ill or injured patients who may overwhelm available resources despite implementing surge-response strategies. If this occurs, critical care triage, which includes both prioritizing patients for care and rationing scarce resources, will be required. The suggestions in this chapter are important for all who are involved in large-scale pandemics or disasters with multiple critically ill or injured patients, including front-line clinicians, hospital administrators, and public health or government officials.

METHODS:  The Triage topic panel reviewed previous task force suggestions and the literature to identify 17 key questions for which specific literature searches were then conducted to identify studies upon which evidence-based recommendations could be made. No studies of sufficient quality were identified. Therefore, the panel developed expert opinion-based suggestions using a modified Delphi process. Suggestions from the previous task force that were not being updated were also included for validation by the expert panel.

RESULTS:  The suggestions from the task force outline the key principles upon which critical care triage should be based as well as a path for the development of the plans, processes, and infrastructure required. This article provides 11 suggestions regarding the principles upon which critical care triage should be based and policies to guide critical care triage.

CONCLUSIONS:  Ethical and efficient critical care triage is a complex process that requires significant planning and preparation. At present, the prognostic tools required to produce an effective decision support system (triage protocol) as well as the infrastructure, processes, legal protections, and training are largely lacking in most jurisdictions. Therefore, critical care triage should be a last resort after mass critical care surge strategies.

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):e75S-e86S. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0737
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BACKGROUND:  Past disasters have highlighted the need to prepare for subsets of critically ill, medically fragile patients. These special patient populations require focused disaster planning that will address their medical needs throughout the event to prevent clinical deterioration. The suggestions in this article are important for all who are involved in large-scale disasters or pandemics with multiple critically ill or injured patients, including frontline clinicians, hospital administrators, and public health or government officials.

METHODS:  Key questions regarding the care of critically ill or injured special populations during disasters or pandemics were identified, and a systematic literature review (1985-2013) was performed. No studies of sufficient quality were identified. Therefore, the panel developed expert opinion-based suggestions using a modified Delphi process. The panel did not include pediatrics as a separate special population because pediatrics issues are embedded in each consensus document.

RESULTS:  Fourteen suggestions were formulated regarding the care of critically ill and injured patients from special populations during pandemics and disasters. The suggestions cover the following areas: defining special populations for mass critical care, special population planning, planning for access to regionalized service for special populations, triage and resource allocation of special populations, therapeutic considerations, and crisis standards of care for special populations.

CONCLUSIONS:  Chronically ill, technologically dependent, and complex critically ill patients present a unique challenge to preparing and implementing mass critical care. There are, however, unique opportunities to engage patients, primary physicians, advocacy groups, and professional organizations to lessen the impact of disaster on these special populations.

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):e87S-e102S. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0738
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BACKGROUND:  System-level planning involves uniting hospitals and health systems, local/regional government agencies, emergency medical services, and other health-care entities involved in coordinating and enabling care in a major disaster. We reviewed the literature and sought expert opinions concerning system-level planning and engagement for mass critical care due to disasters or pandemics and offer suggestions for system-planning, coordination, communication, and response. The suggestions in this chapter are important for all of those involved in a pandemic or disaster with multiple critically ill or injured patients, including front-line clinicians, hospital administrators, and public health or government officials.

METHODS:  The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) consensus statement development process was followed in developing suggestions. Task Force members met in person to develop nine key questions believed to be most relevant for system-planning, coordination, and communication. A systematic literature review was then performed for relevant articles and documents, reports, and other publications reported since 1993. No studies of sufficient quality were identified upon which to make evidence-based recommendations. Therefore, the panel developed expert opinion-based suggestions using a modified Delphi process.

RESULTS:  Suggestions were developed and grouped according to the following thematic elements: (1) national government support of health-care coalitions/regional health authorities (HC/RHAs), (2) teamwork within HC/RHAs, (3) system-level communication, (4) system-level surge capacity and capability, (5) pediatric patients and special populations, (6) HC/RHAs and networks, (7) models of advanced regional care systems, and (8) the use of simulation for preparedness and planning.

CONCLUSIONS:  System-level planning is essential to provide care for large numbers of critically ill patients because of disaster or pandemic. It also entails a departure from the routine, independent system and involves all levels from health-care institutions to regional health authorities. National government support is critical, as are robust communication systems and advanced planning supported by realistic exercises.

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):e103S-e117S. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0739
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BACKGROUND:  During disasters, supply chain vulnerabilities, such as power, transportation, and communication, may affect the delivery of medications and medical supplies and hamper the ability to deliver critical care services. Disasters also have the potential to disrupt information technology (IT) in health-care systems, resulting in interruptions in patient care, particularly critical care, and other health-care business functions. The suggestions in this article are important for all of those involved in a large-scale pandemic or disaster with multiple critically ill or injured patients, including front-line clinicians, hospital administrators, and public health or government officials.

METHODS:  The Business and Continuity of Operations Panel followed the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) Guidelines Oversight Committee’s methodology in developing key questions regarding medication and supply shortages and the impact disasters may have on healthcare IT. Task force members met in person to develop the 13 key questions believed to be most relevant for Business and Continuity of Operations. A systematic literature review was then performed for relevant articles and documents, reports, and gray literature reported since 2007. No studies of sufficient quality were identified upon which to make evidence-based recommendations. Therefore, the panel developed expert opinion-based suggestions using a modified Delphi process.

RESULTS:  Eighteen suggestions addressing mitigation strategies for supply chain vulnerabilities including medications and IT were generated. Suggestions offered to hospitals and health system leadership regarding medication and supply shortages include: (1) purchase key medications and supplies from more than one supplier, (2) substituted medications or supplies should ideally be similar to those already used by an institution’s providers, (3) inventories should be tracked electronically to monitor medication/supply levels, (4) consider higher inventories of medications and supplies known or projected to be in short supply, (5) institute alternate use protocols when a (potential) shortage is identified, and 6) support government and nongovernmental organizations in efforts to address supply chain vulnerability. Health-care IT can be damaged in a disaster, and hospitals and health system leadership should have plans for urgently reestablishing local area networks. Planning should include using portable technology, plans for providing power, maintenance of a patient database that can accompany each patient, and protection of patient privacy. Additionally, long-term planning should include prioritizing servers and memory disk drives and possibly increasing inventory of critical IT supplies in preparedness planning.

CONCLUSIONS:  The provision of care to the critically ill or injured during a pandemic or disaster is dependent on key processes, such as the supply chain, and infrastructure, such as IT systems. Hospitals and health systems will help minimize the impact of medication and supply shortages with a focused strategy using the steps suggested. IT preparedness for maintaining local area networks, functioning clinical information systems, and adequate server and memory storage capacity will greatly enhance preparedness for hospital and health system clinical and business operations.

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):e118S-e133S. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0740
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BACKGROUND:  Engagement and education of ICU clinicians in disaster preparedness is fragmented by time constraints and institutional barriers and frequently occurs during a disaster. We reviewed the existing literature from 2007 to April 2013 and expert opinions about clinician engagement and education for critical care during a pandemic or disaster and offer suggestions for integrating ICU clinicians into planning and response. The suggestions in this article are important for all of those involved in a pandemic or large-scale disaster with multiple critically ill or injured patients, including front-line clinicians, hospital administrators, and public health or government officials.

METHODS:  A systematic literature review was performed and suggestions formulated according to the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) Consensus Statement development methodology. We assessed articles, documents, reports, and gray literature reported since 2007. Following expert-informed sorting and review of the literature, key priority areas and questions were developed. No studies of sufficient quality were identified upon which to make evidence-based recommendations. Therefore, the panel developed expert opinion-based suggestions using a modified Delphi process.

RESULTS:  Twenty-three suggestions were formulated based on literature-informed consensus opinion. These suggestions are grouped according to the following thematic elements: (1) situational awareness, (2) clinician roles and responsibilities, (3) education, and (4) community engagement. Together, these four elements are considered to form the basis for effective ICU clinician engagement for mass critical care.

CONCLUSIONS:  The optimal engagement of the ICU clinical team in caring for large numbers of critically ill patients due to a pandemic or disaster will require a departure from the routine independent systems operating in hospitals. An effective response will require robust information systems; coordination among clinicians, hospitals, and governmental organizations; pre-event engagement of relevant stakeholders; and standardized core competencies for the education and training of critical care clinicians.

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):e134S-e144S. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0741
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BACKGROUND:  Significant legal challenges arise when health-care resources become scarce and population-based approaches to care are implemented during severe disasters and pandemics. Recent emergencies highlight the serious legal, economic, and health impacts that can be associated with responding in austere conditions and the critical importance of comprehensive, collaborative health response system planning. This article discusses legal suggestions developed by the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) Task Force for Mass Critical Care to support planning and response efforts for mass casualty incidents involving critically ill or injured patients. The suggestions in this chapter are important for all of those involved in a pandemic or disaster with multiple critically ill or injured patients, including front-line clinicians, hospital administrators, and public health or government officials.

METHODS:  Following the CHEST Guidelines Oversight Committee’s methodology, the Legal Panel developed 35 key questions for which specific literature searches were then conducted. The literature in this field is not suitable to provide support for evidence-based recommendations. Therefore, the panel developed expert opinion-based suggestions using a modified Delphi process resulting in seven final suggestions.

RESULTS:  Acceptance is widespread for the health-care community’s duty to appropriately plan for and respond to severe disasters and pandemics. Hospitals, public health entities, and clinicians have an obligation to develop comprehensive, vetted plans for mass casualty incidents involving critically ill or injured patients. Such plans should address processes for evacuation and limited appeals and reviews of care decisions. To legitimize responses, deter independent actions, and trigger liability protections, mass critical care (MCC) plans should be formally activated when facilities and practitioners shift to providing MCC. Adherence to official MCC plans should contribute to protecting hospitals and practitioners who act in good faith from liability. Finally, to address anticipated staffing shortages during severe and prolonged disasters and pandemics, governments should develop approaches to formally expand the availability of qualified health-care workers, such as through using official foreign medical teams.

CONCLUSIONS:  As a fundamental element of health-care and public health emergency planning and preparedness, the law underlies critical aspects of disaster and pandemic responses. Effective responses require comprehensive advance planning efforts that include assessments of complex legal issues and authorities. Recent disasters have shown that although law is a critical response tool, it can also be used to hold health-care stakeholders who fail to appropriately plan for or respond to disasters and pandemics accountable for resulting patient or staff harm. Claims of liability from harms allegedly suffered during disasters and pandemics cannot be avoided altogether. However, appropriate planning and legal protections can help facilitate sound, consistent decision-making and support response participation among health-care entities and practitioners.

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):e145S-e155S. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0742
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BACKGROUND:  Mass critical care entails time-sensitive decisions and changes in the standard of care that it is possible to deliver. These circumstances increase provider uncertainty as well as patients’ vulnerability and may, therefore, jeopardize disciplined, ethical decision-making. Planning for pandemics and disasters should incorporate ethics guidance to support providers who may otherwise make ad hoc patient care decisions that overstep ethical boundaries. This article provides consensus-developed suggestions about ethical challenges in caring for the critically ill or injured during pandemics or disasters. The suggestions in this article are important for all of those involved in any pandemic or disaster with multiple critically ill or injured patients, including front-line clinicians, hospital administrators, and public health or government officials.

METHODS:  We adapted the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) Guidelines Oversight Committee’s methodology to develop suggestions. Twenty-four key questions were developed, and literature searches were conducted to identify evidence for suggestions. The detailed literature reviews produced 144 articles. Based on their expertise within this domain, panel members also supplemented the literature search with governmental publications, interdisciplinary workgroup consensus documents, and other information not retrieved through PubMed. The literature in this field is not suitable to support evidence-based recommendations. Therefore, the panel developed expert opinion-based suggestions using a modified Delphi process.

RESULTS:  We report the suggestions that focus on five essential domains: triage and allocation, ethical concerns of patients and families, ethical responsibilities to providers, conduct of research, and international concerns.

CONCLUSIONS:  Ethics issues permeate virtually all aspects of pandemic and disaster response. We have addressed some of the most pressing issues, focusing on five essential domains: triage and allocation, ethical concerns of patients and families, ethical responsibilities to providers, conduct of research, and international concerns. Our suggestions reflect the consensus of the Task Force. We recognize, however, that some suggestions, including those related to end-of-life care, may be controversial. We highlight the need for additional research and dialogue in articulating values to guide health-care decisions during disasters.

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):e156S-e167S. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0744
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BACKGROUND:  Planning for mass critical care (MCC) in resource-poor or constrained settings has been largely ignored, despite their large populations that are prone to suffer disproportionately from natural disasters. Addressing MCC in these settings has the potential to help vast numbers of people and also to inform planning for better-resourced areas.

METHODS:  The Resource-Poor Settings panel developed five key question domains; defining the term resource poor and using the traditional phases of disaster (mitigation/preparedness/response/recovery), literature searches were conducted to identify evidence on which to answer the key questions in these areas. Given a lack of data upon which to develop evidence-based recommendations, expert-opinion suggestions were developed, and consensus was achieved using a modified Delphi process.

RESULTS:  The five key questions were then separated as follows: definition, infrastructure and capacity building, resources, response, and reconstitution/recovery of host nation critical care capabilities and research. Addressing these questions led the panel to offer 33 suggestions. Because of the large number of suggestions, the results have been separated into two sections: part 1, Infrastructure/Capacity in this article, and part 2, Response/Recovery/Research in the accompanying article.

CONCLUSIONS:  Lack of, or presence of, rudimentary ICU resources and limited capacity to enhance services further challenge resource-poor and constrained settings. Hence, capacity building entails preventative strategies and strengthening of primary health services. Assistance from other countries and organizations is needed to mount a surge response. Moreover, planning should include when to disengage and how the host nation can provide capacity beyond the mass casualty care event.

Chest. 2014;146(4_suppl):e168S-e177S. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0745
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BACKGROUND:  Planning for mass critical care in resource-poor and constrained settings has been largely ignored, despite large, densely crowded populations who are prone to suffer disproportionately from natural disasters. As a result, disaster response has been suboptimal and in many instances hampered by lack of planning, education and training, information, and communication.

METHODS:  The Resource-Poor Settings panel developed five key question domains; defining the term resource poor and using the traditional phases of the disaster cycle (mitigation/preparedness/response/recovery). Literature searches were conducted to identify evidence to answer the key questions in these areas. Given a lack of data on which to develop evidence-based recommendations, expert-opinion suggestions were developed, and consensus was achieved using a modified Delphi process.

RESULTS:  The five key questions were as follows: definition, capacity building and mitigation, what resources can we bring to bear to assist/surge, response, and reconstitution and recovery of host nation critical care capabilities. Addressing these led the panel to offer 33 suggestions. Because of the large number of suggestions, the results have been separated into two sections: part I, Infrastructure/Capacity in the accompanying article, and part II, Response/Recovery/Research in this article.

CONCLUSIONS:  A lack of rudimentary ICU resources and capacity to enhance services plagues resource-poor or constrained settings. Capacity building therefore entails preventative strategies and strengthening of primary health services. Assistance from other countries and organizations is often needed to mount a surge response. Moreover, the disengagement of these responding groups and host country recovery require active planning. Future improvements in all phases require active research activities.

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  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543