If a nurse considers that someone was exposed intentionally to a biological, chemical, or radioactive agent or if a nurse considers an intentional terrorist threat will occur or is occurring, they should immediately call for the public health authorities, which may be achieved by calling the local health department, the local police or other law enforcement agency, or the 24-hour CDC hotline at 770-488-7100. Any incident linked to terrorism or potential terrorist action also requires notification to local law enforcement and the National Response Center at 800-424-8802.
Following a catastrophe, offices or clinics may become sites for maintenance if area hospitals are not able to provide services. Even if local offices are unusable, other sites for primary attention has to be recognized. If necessary, medical care may be given in schools, public buildings, buildings, or makeshift facilities, like tents, using restricted power and water resources. Pediatricians should prepare, regularly update, and practice a workplace disaster plan that addresses recovery and response difficulties. It’s critical when creating a workplace disaster plan to take into consideration the local hospital and community emergency-management plans. It might be prudent for pediatricians to consult local building codes to make certain that their office buildings meet current structural safety standards. Emergency preparations should include plans for storage of temperature-sensitive vaccines, drugs, and supplies during prolonged periods of restricted power supply. Agreements with vendors might have to be obtained for operations following the disaster. Emergency kits should be constructed and contain water, first aid supplies, radios, flashlights, batteries, heavy duty gloves, food, and sanitation equipment.
The amount of the recovery period is dependent upon the nature of the tragedy. Pediatricians should be ready to take care of continued disruptions of services which will impact their ability to care for patients and should have plans to supply onsite emergency and primary health care in emergency shelters. Problems to be addressed include inpatient and outpatient therapy, infectious disease management, options for missing services/utilities, logistics and resupply, physical rehabilitation, emotional support, and efforts to promote mental health recovery.
During the wake, changes in practice place, a lack of refrigeration for vaccines and medications, continued disruption of communications, power outages, and lack of sanitation will induce changes in practice criteria and need inventiveness and flexibility. Assisting families dealing with the psychological toll of the disaster might be an ongoing responsibility of the pediatrician.