A mass casualty event can result in an overwhelming number of critically injured pediatric victims that exceeds the available capacity of pediatric critical care (PCC) units, both locally and regionally. To address these gaps, the New York City (NYC) Pediatric Disaster Coalition (PDC) was established. The PDC includes experts in emergency preparedness, critical care, surgery, and emergency medicine from 18 of 25 major NYC PCC-capable hospitals. A PCC surge committee created recommendations for making additional PCC beds available with an emphasis on space, staff, stuff (equipment), and systems. The PDC assisted 15 hospitals in creating PCC surge plans by utilizing template plans and site visits. These plans created an additional 153 potential PCC surge beds. Seven hospitals tested their plans through drills. The purpose of this article was to demonstrate the need for planning for disasters involving children and to provide a stepwise, replicable model for establishing a PDC, with one of its primary goals focused on facilitating PCC surge planning. The process we describe for developing a PDC can be replicated to communities of any size, setting, or location. We offer our model as an example for other cities.
- disaster coalition
- disaster drill
- disaster preparedness
- pediatric critical care surge capacity
- surge plan
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health