Lessons Learned from a Disaster Preparedness Exercise Using Children Participants

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/198303
Title:
Lessons Learned from a Disaster Preparedness Exercise Using Children Participants
Abstract:
[ENA Annual Conference 2011 - Evidence-based Practice Presentation] Lessons Learned from a Disaster Preparedness Exercise using Children Participants

Purpose: The purpose of this evidenced based project was to test promising strategies in pediatric disaster preparedness (e.g., decontamination and patient identification) by using children participants in a disaster exercise. According to the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children and the National Commission on Children and Disasters, children have unique vulnerabilities that place them at greater risk during a disaster. This leads hospital based providers to identify effective strategies and plans to safely meet the physiological and development needs of children.

Design: This project followed a quality assurance design for determining if the Emergency Operations Plan was congruent with current recommendations in pediatric disaster management.

Setting: In July 2010, a Level II Trauma Center in northwest Illinois conducted a disaster exercise using children between the ages of birth and twelve years. The decontamination process took place outside using two hazmat tents.

Participants/Subjects: Twenty-two participants were recruited primarily through ED staff who voluntarily brought in their children, including three sets of twins. This disaster exercise was designed to be child friendly and children were able to refuse any activity. Parent(s) completed a release form and remained with their children throughout the disaster exercise.

Methods: Direct observation of the decontamination process was used for testing strategies that emphasized the child’s safety. A multidisciplinary team consisting of a Pediatric Quality Coordinator, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, hazmat team members, physicians, nurses, hospital leadership and the local fire department worked as direct care providers, observers and evaluators. The Child Identification Survey Form developed by the New York State of Public Health was trialed without parental assistance. At a later date, these forms were critiqued for accuracy and completion.

Results/Outcomes: Following this exercise, many hazmat processes changed. It was determined that a cement mixing tub, from a home improvement store, became the preferred baby container for the decontamination process. A softer brush chosen for removing the hazardous agent from a child's body became the prototype for all patients, regardless of age. A pregnant mother who had volunteered to be decontaminated with her twin girls demonstrated that families who decontaminated together completed the process with an added level of safety and a decreased level of stress when compared to those families who had not decontaminated together. Overt measures of siblings comforting one another was apparent and demographic data collection was more complete by combining information from the medical records of siblings. Modifications were made to The Child Identification Survey form in order to improve documentation in a disaster. Finally, job action sheets were developed in order to facilitate the patient identification process since this appears pivotal for ensuring family reunification.

Implications: Exercising with children should be a priority for hospitals when preparing for disaster responses. When reviewing the current Emergency Operations Plan alongside promising pediatric disaster strategies, the effectiveness of a hospital’s pediatric disaster readiness is challenged. Lessons learned by examining and testing current processes are invaluable especially when children are allowed to participate in disaster drills.



Repository Posting Date:
21-Dec-2011
Date of Publication:
21-Dec-2011

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.titleLessons Learned from a Disaster Preparedness Exercise Using Children Participantsen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/198303-
dc.description.abstract[ENA Annual Conference 2011 - Evidence-based Practice Presentation] Lessons Learned from a Disaster Preparedness Exercise using Children Participants<br/> <br/>Purpose: The purpose of this evidenced based project was to test promising strategies in pediatric disaster preparedness (e.g., decontamination and patient identification) by using children participants in a disaster exercise. According to the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children and the National Commission on Children and Disasters, children have unique vulnerabilities that place them at greater risk during a disaster. This leads hospital based providers to identify effective strategies and plans to safely meet the physiological and development needs of children.<br/><br/>Design: This project followed a quality assurance design for determining if the Emergency Operations Plan was congruent with current recommendations in pediatric disaster management.<br/><br/>Setting: In July 2010, a Level II Trauma Center in northwest Illinois conducted a disaster exercise using children between the ages of birth and twelve years. The decontamination process took place outside using two hazmat tents.<br/><br/>Participants/Subjects: Twenty-two participants were recruited primarily through ED staff who voluntarily brought in their children, including three sets of twins. This disaster exercise was designed to be child friendly and children were able to refuse any activity. Parent(s) completed a release form and remained with their children throughout the disaster exercise.<br/><br/>Methods: Direct observation of the decontamination process was used for testing strategies that emphasized the child’s safety. A multidisciplinary team consisting of a Pediatric Quality Coordinator, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, hazmat team members, physicians, nurses, hospital leadership and the local fire department worked as direct care providers, observers and evaluators. The Child Identification Survey Form developed by the New York State of Public Health was trialed without parental assistance. At a later date, these forms were critiqued for accuracy and completion.<br/><br/>Results/Outcomes: Following this exercise, many hazmat processes changed. It was determined that a cement mixing tub, from a home improvement store, became the preferred baby container for the decontamination process. A softer brush chosen for removing the hazardous agent from a child's body became the prototype for all patients, regardless of age. A pregnant mother who had volunteered to be decontaminated with her twin girls demonstrated that families who decontaminated together completed the process with an added level of safety and a decreased level of stress when compared to those families who had not decontaminated together. Overt measures of siblings comforting one another was apparent and demographic data collection was more complete by combining information from the medical records of siblings. Modifications were made to The Child Identification Survey form in order to improve documentation in a disaster. Finally, job action sheets were developed in order to facilitate the patient identification process since this appears pivotal for ensuring family reunification. <br/><br/>Implications: Exercising with children should be a priority for hospitals when preparing for disaster responses. When reviewing the current Emergency Operations Plan alongside promising pediatric disaster strategies, the effectiveness of a hospital’s pediatric disaster readiness is challenged. Lessons learned by examining and testing current processes are invaluable especially when children are allowed to participate in disaster drills. <br/><br/><br/> <br/>en_GB
dc.date.available2011-12-21T12:45:30Z-
dc.date.issued2011-12-21T12:45:30Z-
dc.date.accessioned2011-12-21T12:45:30Z-
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