t is important to have a well thought out plan ready for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) in the event you are faced with a sudden emergency or disaster. An emergency plan should address the child's specific needs, including medication, personal care, adaptive equipment, transportation, and communication challenges. Emergency planning includes being prepared for both a child's medical emergencies as well as possible environmental disasters. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers the following information to assist in the treatment of CYSHCN during an emergency situation.Medical Home Approach
CYSHCN, their families, physicians, practice teams, and community providers will benefit from having a clear, written comprehensive care plan. Major components of a comprehensive care plan include a medical summary with an emergency treatment plan and a working care plan. The medical summary should contain a short synopsis of the child's current diagnosis, problem list, treatment including medications and recurrent problems, past medical history, and community-based care as well as information for emergency treatment (eg, emergency contacts, special instructions for emergency health care professionals, etc).
A working care plan can be as simple as a written, organized note developed during a visit or a more detailed plan developed during a meeting of the family, care coordinator, and clinician. It can also be a comprehensive, integrated care plan developed by a multidisciplinary team (eg, primary care pediatrician and staff, subspecialists, and other allied health professionals providing care to the child).Additional Considerations
When treating CYSHCN, it is important to connect with Emergency Medical Services and other responders in advance to notify them if the child has a particular need for equipment that requires electricity. It is also important to consider the types of medications (asthma-related and others) that a child needs to have.
Because different regions may utilize different approaches to care, it is important to determine what resources are available and where to access them if hospitalization is required. Transportation may also present issues in regard to treatment.Resources