Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 36, Supplement 1, pp 38–44 | Cite as

Chapter 5. Essential equipment, pharmaceuticals and supplies




To provide recommendations and standard operating procedures for intensive care unit and hospital preparations for an influenza pandemic or mass disaster with a specific focus on essential equipment, pharmaceuticals and supplies.


Based on a literature review and expert opinion, a Delphi process was used to define the essential topics including essential equipment, pharmaceuticals and supplies.


Key recommendations include: (1) ensure that adequate essential medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and important supplies are available during a disaster; (2) develop a communication and coordination system between health care facilities and local/regional/state/country governmental authorities for the provision of additional support; (3) determine the required resources, order and stockpile adequate resources, and judiciously distribute them; (4) acquire additional mechanical ventilators that are portable, provide adequate gas exchange for a range of clinical conditions, function with low-flow oxygen and without high pressure, and are safe for patients and staff; (5) provide advanced ventilatory support and rescue therapies including high levels of inspired oxygen and positive end-expiratory pressure, volume and pressure control ventilation, inhaled nitric oxide, high-frequency ventilation, prone positioning ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; (6) triage scarce resources including equipment, pharmaceuticals and supplies based on those who are likely to benefit most or on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.


Judicious planning and adoption of protocols for providing adequate equipment, pharmaceuticals and supplies are necessary to optimize outcomes during a pandemic.


Equipment Pharmaceuticals Drugs Supplies Recommendations Standard operating procedures Intensive care unit Hospital H1N1 Influenza epidemic Pandemic Disaster 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Copyright jointly hold by Springer and ESICM 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care MedicineHadassah Hebrew University Medical CenterJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Intensive Care MedicineUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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