Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 391–396 | Cite as

Creating a Regional Pediatric Medical Disaster Preparedness Network: Imperative and Issues

  • Peter M. GinterEmail author
  • Martha Slay Wingate
  • Andrew C. Rucks
  • Rachel D. Vásconez
  • Lisa C. McCormick
  • Stephen Baldwin
  • Crayton A. Fargason
Original Paper


Over the past few decades, the number of disasters, both natural and human initiated has increased. As a result, since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, there has been a new emphasis on disaster preparedness. However, the preparedness emphasis has been primarily directed toward adults and little attention has been specifically given to the needs of children.

One reason for the lack of attention to pediatric needs in disaster planning is that childhood is seldom viewed as a separate and special stage of growth, fundamentally different from adulthood. The expectation during emergencies is that the care provided for adults is appropriate for children.

The purpose of this paper is to examine the types of and increase in disasters and discuss the importance of specifically addressing the special needs of children in disaster planning. Further the paper argues for a regional network approach to emergency pediatric care that would increase surge capacity for children during disasters and other emergencies.


Pediatric emergency care Regional pediatric network Disaster preparedness 


  1. 1.
    Arnold JL. Disaster medicine in the 21st century: Future hazards, vulnerabilities, and risk. Prehospital Disaster Med 2002;17(1):3–11.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Redlener I, Markenson D. Disaster and terrorism preparedness: What pediatricians need to know. Adv Pediatr 2003; 50:1–37.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Markenson D, Redlener I. Pediatric terrorism preparedness national guidelines and recommendations: Findings of an evidence-based consensus process. Biosecur Bioterror 2004;2(4):301–19.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rumm P. Public health's role in terrorism preparedness and resp- onse for children. Prepared for the National Advisory Commit- tee on Children and Terrorism. 2003, children/PDF/working/federal.pdf Accessed 6 Jan 2006.Google Scholar
  5. 5., National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, Terrorist Knowledge Base, April 15, 2006.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Goss PJ. Global intelligence challenges 2005: Meeting long-term challenges with long-term strategy, Director of Central Intelligence's (DCI) Global Intelligence Challenges briefing to the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. 2005 Feb. 16, pg. 2.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau. Table 1-RES: Estimates of the Resident Population by Selected Age Groups for the United States and States and for Puerto Rico: July 1, 2004. 2005.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Waisman Y, Aharonson-Daniel L, Mor M, Amir L, and Peleg L. The Impact of Terrorism on Children: A 2-year experience. Prehospital Disaster Med 2003;242–8.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bernardo LM, Veenema TG. Pediatric emergency preparedness for mass gatherings and special events. Disaster Manag Response 2004;2:4,118–22.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Shannon M. Pediatric Aspects of Terrorism/Disaster Preparedness, Lecture, Pediatric Disaster Preparedness Conference, Children's Hospital of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama, March 8, 2005.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    NACHRI. FAQs on Children's Hospitals. 2005. http://www. (Accessed 25 May 2005).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Baldwin S. Regional Pediatric Medical Preparedness: Why is it Important? Lecture, Pediatric Disaster Preparedness Network Planning Conference, Children's Hospital of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama, February 15, 2005.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter M. Ginter
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martha Slay Wingate
    • 1
  • Andrew C. Rucks
    • 1
  • Rachel D. Vásconez
    • 2
  • Lisa C. McCormick
    • 2
  • Stephen Baldwin
    • 3
  • Crayton A. Fargason
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Health Care Organization and PolicySchool of Public Health, University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamEngland
  2. 2.South Central Center for Public Health PreparednessSchool of Public Health, University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamEngland
  3. 3.Emergency Preparedness, Emergency Medicine Children's Hospital of AlabamaBirminghamEngland
  4. 4.Children's Hospital of AlabamaBirminghamEngland

Personalised recommendations