SOURCE: American College of Chest Physicians

American College of Chest Physicians

October 17, 2014 14:36 ET

CHEST Releases Expert Guidance in Care of the Critically Ill and Injured to Aid Health-Care Providers in Preparing to Care for Patients With Ebola

GLENVIEW, IL--(Marketwired - October 17, 2014) - As the international health-care community cares for patients with Ebola and updates preparedness plans, the American College of Chest Physicians' print journal CHEST has recently published Care of the Critically Ill and Injured During Pandemics and Disasters: CHEST Consensus Statement. The consensus statement aims to guide ethical decision-making, coordination of care, resource conservation, and research in crises. The statement was developed by over 100 clinicians and experts representing a broad variety and scope of clinical fields from more than nine countries. It offers the latest evidence-informed suggestions on how to best prepare and manage the critically ill and injured during large-scale pandemics and disasters.

"The Ebola outbreak has become a huge global concern, and the American College of Chest Physicians has released its timely and updated document for caring for the critically ill and injured during pandemics and disasters. The rigorously developed set of suggestions made by an unparalleled group of experts who comprise the American College of Chest Physicians' Task Force for Mass Critical Care are intended to support bedside critical care providers, hospital administrators, public health officials, and government planners," said Richard S. Irwin, MD, Master FCCP, Editor in Chief of the journal CHEST.

"We hope the release of this document, given the current Ebola concerns in the United States and around the world, might, in some way, aid those working to control the epidemic and provide care for the victims of it," said Michael H. Baumann, MD, MS, FCCP, and President of the American College of Chest Physicians.

The new statement also integrates suggestions and considerations for the management of children impacted by large-scale events because they represent at least a quarter of most nations' populations. The statement provides key suggestions on integration of hospitals with providers to expand bed capacity to maximally care for potentially large numbers of patients and to provide triage resources for patients under extreme shortages and also includes systems planning, business continuity, legal framework, provider education, and ethical considerations that facilitate the provision of this care. Suggestions are also provided for partnerships and improving capacity for disasters and pandemics in the developing world where resources are chronically depleted.

"In 2008, our task force gathered together to create the first version of our mass critical care consensus statement. Following publication, the recommendations were employed during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic in Mexico City, following the earthquake in Haiti and helped with triage during Hurricane Sandy," said Asha Devereaux, MD, MPH, FCCP, panel co-chair. "We have now provided an expanded scope in this new statement and feel the application of the document's recommendations will be even more useful for clinicians, institutions, and agencies throughout the world."

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American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), publisher of the journal CHEST, is the global leader in advancing best patient outcomes through innovative chest medicine education, clinical research, and team-based care. Its mission is to champion the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication, and research. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 18,700 members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. For more information visit chestnet.org.

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