Pediatric Disaster Drills that Include Children

Kristel Wetjen RN, MSN has been the Pediatric Trauma Program Manager at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital (UISFCH) since 2008. Additionally Ms. Wetjen is a founding Co-Chair of the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics (UIHC) Emergency Management Subcommittee Pediatric Disaster Preparedness Task Force(2010-present) and member of the UIHC Emergency Management Subcommittee (2010-present). In these roles, she has facilitated over 20 hospital disaster exercises with a focus on pediatric patients. Ms. Wetjen is also the co-lead of the Iowa Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMS-C).

We will share successful examples of disaster drills involving pediatric “victims” from small scale “paper patient” drills to large mass casualty surge exercise incorporating community first responders and volunteer mock pediatric “victims”. We will identify valuable resources for pediatric preparedness and give participants a template to start planning their own disaster drill customized for their own circumstances. Throughout the session, we will encourage attendee to share their challenges, successes, and questions about pediatric preparedness to enrich our discussion.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will review important aspects of children to consider in planning disaster drills.
  2. Participants will learn about simple and inexpensive ways to produce a disaster drill.
  3. Participants will receive hands-on opportunity to start planning their own disaster drill to involve children and their community.