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In 2008, the American College of Chest Physician’s (ACCP) published a series of 5 articles on definitive care for the critically ill during a disaster. This series was amongst the first to address the complex and emotionally charged issue of providing care when not everyone can be cared for during a disaster.
A member of the team
Therefore, in 2011, work began to expand and update this original series to develop a series consensus statements on mass critical care during a disaster. A librarian was included early in the process to outline head librarian responsibilities and work with the Executive Committee as tasks, timelines, topic editors, and experts were identified. For the 2008 manuscript series, the authors had conducted their own literature searches.
Twelve topic groups were established to address a specific topic of relevance to mass critical care (e.g., ethics, legal & policy, special populations, evacuation & transportation, infrastructure, technology, scarce resources, austere environments, business continuity). At least 2 individuals were designated as topic group editors to lead their group’s work. Experts representing multiple fields and institutions were invited to serve as topic group members. Each topic group member was required to complete an online PICO course developed by ACCP.
Series of 5 articles on mass critical care during a disaster:
What the librarian did
As the 24 topic editors were from many different institutions with varying library access and only 1 voluntary head librarian, a plan was developed. Each topic group was encouraged to either: conduct their own searches with or without librarian help, request the head librarian to search for them, or work with their home institution’s librarian. However, all topic groups are required to send the head librarian all search strategies used for cataloging and to assist in the writing of the methods sections.
Completed manuscripts will be submitted to Chest in summer 2013 for publication in late 2013 or early 2014.
With a new focus within the medical, public health and disaster medicine communities on crisis standards of care and allocation of scarce resources during pandemics and disasters, the dialogue has moved forward and more questions asked as to the provision of critical care during times of disaster.