In spite of recent improvements to the stockpile, the U.S. is not prepared for children emergencies in cases of natural disasters, epidemics, or terrorist attacks. It’s a situation that has been unfortunately not yet fixed. Researchers are drawing the attention to the issue in effort to reinforce supplies.
U.S. stockpile not ready
In case of severe emergencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announced that the U.S. is not prepared to handle the children victims. This is in spite of the fact that they’re more vulnerable than adults in such dire situations. They have distinct needs in terms of dosages, methods, and devices used that the stockpile currently lacks.
According to lead author of the study, Dr. Daniel Fagbuyi, this is a matter of life or death. Or, at the very least, it could be at some point in the future. In the last couple of years, there have been significant improvements in terms of medication aimed for children, but not enough. There is need for more research, more resources, and more trials to better understand the best solutions possible.
The researchers claimed that there is a need for stronger investments in treatments that are appropriate and aimed for children. For starters, this refers to medical devices and instructions upon drug dosages that will be appropriate. Enough of them are already in store for adults. However, the team stated that the amount of resources for children should be at least equal to their adult counterparts.
This should include equipment, supplies, medications, and instructions on dosing that could potentially be life saving. It implies vaccines and liquid drugs that arrive in the form of pills for adults. Children, however, might have a harder time swallowing them. Unfortunately, there lies one of the problems.
Liquid medicine often has a shorter lifespan than pills, and may not be stored for as long. Here interferes the added costs that will pile onto already small resources. Liquid drugs are also more difficult to store or transport, which may prove to be another hindrance.
There are more treatments for adults available
Dr. David Schonfeld stated that they must always consider the cost versus benefit when it regards investments. But, he feels that they have an obligation to assure children will have at least the same amount of medicine available in case of national emergencies. Currently, that is not the case.
Disasters will keep on happening, and there is a call out for satisfying this particular need. Another problem is the lack of human trials. To better understand what works and design an efficient system of medicine for children, researchers require testing. However, parents often do not consent, and there is a problem with meeting the clinical trial requirements as they’re usually stricter for children.
The main goal is to know what works and how efficient it is. The need of supplying the stockpile with emergency medicine for children will be aided by that effort.
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