Title

Methodology: care of the critically ill and injured during pandemics and disasters: CHEST consensus statement

Abstract

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.

Document Type

Article

PubMed ID

25144246

DOI

doi: 10.1378/chest.14-0746