It has been reported that 50% of the affected during natural or man-made disasters are children. They have unique vulnerabilities that require unique and specific management. It is therefore vital to understand the optimal management in pediatric emergencies, and to consider efforts regarding pediatric preparedness and response in humanitarian situations.
This chapter reviews the necessary means of pediatric care that must be included in medical relief delegations, and proposes a structure for a dedicated medical team, as well as necessary logistic and administrative considerations.
A triage algorithm is described, considering three key parameters: urgency, available resources, and the likelihood of saving a patient’s life. Ethical dilemmas posed by the above approach are discussed as well.
Lastly, the authors discuss the necessary collaboration between the pediatric team and the traumatology and obstetrics/gynecology departments, and describe the structure and function of a pediatric ward in a field hospital, based on experience from medical relief delegations deployed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) after natural disasters in Haiti and Nepal.