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The Prospect of Using Alternative Medical Care Facilities in an Influenza Pandemic

Clarence Lam, Richard Waldhorn, Eric Toner, Thomas V. Inglesby, Tara O'Toole
Date posted:
December 15, 2006
Publication type:

Biosecur Bioterror 2006;4(4):384-390

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Available on publisher's website
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Full article as PDF


Alternative care facilities (ACFs) have been widely proposed in state, local, and national pandemic preparedness plans as a way to address the expected shortage of available medical facilities during an influenza pandemic. These plans describe many types of ACFs, but their function and roles are unclear and need to be carefully considered because of the limited resources available and the reduced treatment options likely to be provided in a pandemic. Federal and state pandemic plans and the medical literature were reviewed, and models for ACFs being considered were defined and categorized. Applicability of these models to an influenza pandemic was analyzed, and recommendations are offered for future ACF use. ACFs may be best suited to function as primary triage sites, providing limited supportive care, offering alternative isolation locations to influenza patients, and serving as recovery clinics to assist in expediting the discharge of patients from hospitals.



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