in Disaster Planning
The AARC provided sample letters and
suggested contacts to our state societies. Many of these activities
are paying dividends around the country.
Alabama: ASRC members are working with state officials to determine which ventilators to purchase for disaster preparedness and are also developing a statewide policy on ventilator triage in the event of a mass casualty incident. The latter will serve as guidance on issues like when to remove someone with a poor chance of survival from ventilation in order to give someone else who is more likely to survive a chance to live, and what conditions should trigger a decision not to place someone on mechanical ventilation.
members are serving on hospital-based emergency preparedness committees
throughout the state, and emergency preparedness is discussed monthly
at CTSRC Board of Directors meetings. An Emergency Preparedness
Committee has been added for 2007, with a NIMS certified chair.
In addition, several members regularly attend the CT Hospital Association
Meetings for Respiratory Care Directors/Managers. Along with state
health officials, the state society is also in the process of reviewing
ventilators being considered for stockpiling within the state and
will be assisting the state in developing statewide training and
competencies on the chosen ventilator. The CTSRC also has a representative
on the state’s Emergency Credentialing Committee.
has been working with state health officials since 2003 to train
respiratory therapists on the use of ventilators purchased for emergency
situations in Florida and is developing a one hour continuing education
course that it hopes will be made mandatory by the Florida Board
of Respiratory Care in the summer of 2007. The state society has
shared the AARC’s ventilator guidance document with its contacts
in the state government and is also working with the state on equipment
selection, allocation, and distribution; educational issues; and
capability issues, including an overall strategic plan for respiratory
therapists in an all-hazards approach to care.
Disaster Committee chair has participated in emergency preparedness
table top exercises and has also conducted a ventilator inventory
in the Twin Cities and statewide. In addition, the MSRC has formed
a new Disaster Preparedness Committee to provide RT education, foster
participation in Minnesota DMAT operations and health department
committees, and use the MSRC web site as a disaster communication
tool for RTs.
RTs have attended countywide disaster planning meetings along with
EMS professionals, emergency volunteers, and other county officials.
The MSRC has circulated the AARC’s ventilator guidance document
to its members, instructing them to use the document as their primary
tool when working with officials. The state society is also compiling
an RT emergency contact tree that will include every RT department
director at every hospital in the state.
Missouri: The past president of the MSRC is serving on a state committee set up to address pandemic influenza and other issues. The group has been charged with reviewing documents related to health care delivery in the event of a pandemic or other health care crisis.
The MSRC delegate has contacted the state’s medical officer to offer
the state society’s assistance in providing respiratory care in
an emergency situation such as an influenza outbreak.
therapists have assisted both the state and New York City in assessing
ventilators for use in disaster response. On a state basis, an RT
served on a special work group formed by the health department to
develop criteria for these ventilators and also assisted the state
in evaluating ventilators to determine if they could meet those
criteria. In NYC, a group of therapists met with city health officials
to discuss respiratory needs in emergency situations and also reviewed
surge ventilators being considered for purchase by the state. The
AARC’s ventilator guidance document was used in the review process
to identify core qualifications for the ventilators.
across the state participated in several conference calls with state
officials on the acquisition of surge capacity ventilators and the
logistical concerns surrounding these devices. Therapists were asked
to weigh in on how they would like the ventilators to be stored,
maintained, and transported to the site of a disaster. RTs were
also surveyed on these topics, and the state is keeping the OSRC
informed of developments.
Disaster Planning Committee chair has networked with state health
officials to help define the role of the RT in a disaster and ensure
RTs take the lead in patient care and ventilator management. The
state society also plans to use its web site to post educational
information and guidance on pandemic influenza.
The SCSRC has received a $20,000 HRSA grant to assist the state
in determining ventilator needs in emergency situations. The state
society plans to use the AARC’s ventilator guidance document in
its project, which will include building a
multi-faceted computer system and database, developing electronic
surveys to assist in determining the number and types
of ventilators currently available statewide, and developing a state-specific
document to assist hospitals in determining ventilator needs
for their facilities and the particular patient populations in their
attended a Preparedness Planning Conference, where they offered
the state their assistance in disseminating information and mobilizing
RTs statewide in the event of an emergency situation. The state
society also offered to provide advice, education, and training
in various areas of respiratory care.
president has participated in a Pandemic Flu State Meeting and the
state society’s Disaster Committee chair has taken part in discussions
regarding mechanical ventilation for emergency situations. The VSRC
has circulated the AARC’s ventilator guidance document to officials
on a state and regional basis and has also shared the document with
members of its board of directors.
Twenty WSRC members from across the state are serving on an Expert
Panel on Ventilator Capacity set up by the state d irector
of hospital bioterrorism preparedness. The group is using the AARC
ventilator guidance document to finalize required features for potential