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Despite children’s unique vulnerability, clinical guidance and resources are lacking around the use of radiation medical countermeasures (MCMs) available commercially and in the Strategic National Stockpile to support immediate dispensing to pediatric populations. To better understand the current capabilities and shortfalls, a literature review and gap analysis were performed.
A comprehensive review of the medical literature, Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved labeling, FDA summary reviews, medical references, and educational resources related to pediatric radiation MCMs was performed from May 2016 to February 2017.
Fifteen gaps related to the use of radiation MCMs in children were identified. The need to address these gaps was prioritized based upon the potential to decrease morbidity and mortality, improve clinical management, strengthen caregiver education, and increase the relevant evidence base.
Key gaps exist in information to support the safe and successful use of MCMs in children during radiation emergencies; failure to address these gaps could have negative consequences for families and communities. There is a clear need for pediatric-specific guidance to ensure clinicians can appropriately identify, triage, and treat children who have been exposed to radiation, and for resources to ensure accurate communication about the safety and utility of radiation MCMs for children. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:639-646)
The objectives of this study were to (1) identify available training programs for emergency response personnel and public health professionals on addressing the needs of Deaf and hard of hearing individuals and older adults, (2) identify strategies to improve these training programs, and (3) identify gaps in available training programs and make recommendations for addressing these gaps.
A literature review was conducted to identify relevant training programs and identify lessons learned. Interviews were conducted by telephone or email with key informants who were subject matter experts who worked with Deaf and hard of hearing persons (n=11) and older adults (n=11).
From the literature, 11 training programs targeting public health professionals and emergency response personnel serving Deaf and hard of hearing individuals (n=7) and older adults (n=4) were identified. The 4 training programs focused on older adults had corresponding evaluations published in the literature. Three (43%) of the 7 training programs focused on Deaf and hard of hearing persons included individuals from the affected communities in the development and implementation of the training. Key informant interviews identified common recommendations for improving training programs: (1) training should involve collaboration across different emergency, state, federal, and advocacy agencies; (2) training should involve members of affected communities; (3) training should be more widely accessible and affordable; and (4) training should teach response personnel varied communication techniques relevant to the Deaf and hard of hearing and older adult communities.
Developing effective, accessible, and affordable training programs for emergency response personnel working with Deaf and hard of hearing persons, some of whom belong to the older adult population, will require a collaborative effort among emergency response agencies, public health organizations, and members of the affected communities. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:606–614)
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