In today’s world the increased potential of terrorist attacks places unique burdens and consequences on health care workers. Hospitals and hospital personnel must now be prepared to react immediately to such events. They must also implement, in advance, policies to protect their own health care personnel while providing care to victims. In this review, we discuss the four major forms of mass casualty terrorism (biological, chemical, nuclear, and thermomechanical) including clinical signs and symptoms for each, the impact on health care personnel, and special considerations for children. We will then outline key principles of hospital preparation with regard to paediatrics in anticipation of such emergencies.
- BZ, 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate
- Ca-DTPA, pentate calcium trisodium
- CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- DMPS, dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonic acid
- EMS, emergency medical services
- KI, potassium iodide
- RDD, radioactive dispersal devices
- SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome
- Zn-DTPA, pentate zinc trisodium
- disaster planning
- paediatric preparedness
- public health emergencies
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