The American College of Chest Physicians Releases Consensus Statement on the Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters

The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) has released the 2014 Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters: CHEST Consensus Statement. The statement aims to guide ethical decision-making, coordination of care, resource conservation, and research in disasters. The statement is intended primarily for clinicians and hospital administrators involved in planning for and providing care during disasters, but is also of great importance to officials at local, state, and national levels.

This newly released statement was developed by a task force of over 100 clinicians and experts and follows the first series of disaster critical care suggestions developed in 2008. The 2014 Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters: CHEST Consensus Statement updates and greatly expands the scope of disaster planning for large numbers of critically ill patients; specifically, in the core areas of hospital surge capacity, triage, and ethics. Additionally, the statement addresses for the first time: considerations for the management of special populations, specifically children; ICU evacuation; system level planning; business and continuity of operations; legal principles; provider engagement and education; and planning for resource-poor areas.

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About Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown serves as a Senior Program Analyst for Environmental Health, Pandemic Response, and Catastrophic Preparedness at NACCHO. Her work includes climate change preparedness, medical countermeasure planning and implementation efforts, and exploring the legal issues surrounding radiation preparedness.Twitter: @LisaBrownMPH

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