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April 3, 2017

Pediatric Reverse Triage—Uncomfortable but Real Decision Making for Community Preparedness

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, T. C. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 2Maternal Health Initiative, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC
JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(4):e164839. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.4839

Natural disasters, industrial accidents, terrorist attacks, and pandemics are the major drivers of disaster-related mortality and morbidity that affect the most vulnerable populations, especially children. Disasters keep communities honest by their uncanny ability to immediately define public health and expose the vulnerabilities and limitations faced by the health care system and the community that depends on its protection and essential infrastructure.1 Although community-level postdisaster reviews focus on the rapid return to normalcy and opportunities to reduce future vulnerability, the health care system may launch after-action reports and a flurry of postmortem research and publications to determine what went wrong, why the health system was so vulnerable, and what could be done better.

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