Purpose: To provide recommendations and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital preparations for an influenza pandemic or mass disaster with a specific focus on manpower. Methods: Based on a literature review and expert opinion, a Delphi process was used to define the essential topics including manpower. Results: Key recommendations include: (1) plan to access, coordinate and increase labor resources for continued and expanded ICU care including increasing critical care specialists and expanded practice for non-critical care personnel; (2) develop an education, awareness, preparation and communication program to ensure a well-protected and prepared workforce with coordinated rapid manpower expansion; (3) maintain a central inventory of all clinical and non-clinical staff with their current roles along with possible emergency re-training possibilities; (4) coordinate all clinical and non-clinical staffing requirements and determine the hospital's daily needs including a sick and no-show list together with ICU requirements; (5) provide clinical care to patients only with clinical staff and not with non-clinical staff; (6) delegate duties not within the scope of workers' practice under crisis conditions with proper supervision and support from experienced clinicians to ensure patient safety; (7) intensivists should supervise nonintensivist physicians to expand the workforce if patient surge exceeds the number of available ICU-trained specialists. Conclusions: Judicious planning and adoption of protocols for providing adequate manpower are necessary to optimize outcomes during a pandemic.
- Influenza epidemic
- Intensive care unit
- Standard operating procedures
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine