Objective We aimed to determine paediatric hospital preparedness for a mass casualty disaster involving children in both prehospital and hospital settings. The study findings will serve to generate recommendations, guidelines and training objectives.
Design and setting The AMAVI-PED study is a cross-sectional survey. An electronic questionnaire was sent to French physicians with key roles in specialised paediatric acute care.
Results In total, 81% (26 of 32) of French University Hospitals were represented in the study. A disaster plan AMAVI with a specific paediatric emphasis was established in all the paediatric centres. In case of a mass casualty event, paediatric victims would be initially admitted to the paediatric emergency department for most centres (n=21; 75%). Paediatric anaesthesiologists, paediatric surgeons and paediatric radiologists were in-house in 20 (71%), 5 (18%) and 12 (43%) centres, respectively. Twenty-three (82%) hospitals had a paediatric specialised mobile intensive care unit and seven (25%) of these could provide a prehospital emergency response. Didactic teaching and simulation exercises were implemented in 20 (71%) and 22 (79%) centres, respectively. Overall, physician participants rated the level of readiness of their hospital as 6 (IQR: 5–7) on a 10-point readiness scale.
Conclusion Paediatric preparedness is very heterogeneous between the centres. Based on the study findings, we suggest that a national programme must be defined and guidelines generated.
- mass casualty event
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Contributors GM, NL, JN and FD designed the study. GM, FB and EJ collected and analysed the data. GM, NR, FB, EJ and JN wrote the manuscript, which was reviewed and approved by all the authors.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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