RealNews

U.S. Plans to Help Young Victims of Terrorism Are Criticized

If there is another terrorist attack on American soil, terrorism experts and health providers say, the emergency system is ill prepared to rescue the softest targets of all — children. Although planning is better than it was a year ago, when few crisis managers even realized that children had different needs, the experts said, actual preparedness is hardly better than it was before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Pediatric doses of medicines to counter nerve gas, anthrax or a dirty bomb’s radiation are not even standardized yet, much less distributed. Paramedics who could be called to a gassed school or a bombed bus do not routinely receive specialized training in things like finding smaller veins or using smaller tracheotomy tubes in children thrashing around in fear or in steeling themselves against the shock of having to treat a room full of dying children. With war now imminent, “it’s a matter of national urgency that we move as quickly as possible to protect our children,” Dr. Irwin Redlener, a member of the task force on terrorism of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said yesterday. Full Story

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