Pediatric Disaster Planning Considerations
Children's Hospital of Los Angeles

In the event of a mass casualty incident, resources for treating pediatric victims will be limited.  Staff that is inexperienced with pediatric critical injuries or illnesses will result in an inadequate surge capacity.  As part of preparedness, each facility should predetermine their ability to handle pediatric victims and develop a plan to be able to increase this capacity based on a pediatric surge.  There are typically fewer pediatric victims in the event of a disaster based on the assumptions related to population of pediatric vs. adult patients in the general population.  A conservative estimate of pediatric victims for the purposes of planning should assume approximately 15-20% of the victims are pediatric (15 years or younger).  There are many disasters (such as a school bus accident) that would alter this assumption.  In the event of a pediatric disaster or disaster that involves pediatric patients, information listed in this document can assist with appropriate response.