Title

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

Abstract

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.

Document Type

Article

PubMed ID

25144161

DOI

doi: 10.1378/chest.14-0740