GAO releases report addressing national preparedness for medical needs of children in a CBRN event
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on April 30 published a report on "National Preparedness: Efforts to Address the Medical Needs of Children in a Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear (CBRN) Incident," GAO-13-438. GAO was asked about efforts to address the needs of children in the event of a CBRN incident. This report examines: (1) the percentage of CBRN medical countermeasures in the Strategic National Stockpile that are approved for pediatric use; (2) the challenges the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) faces in developing and acquiring CBRN medical countermeasures for the pediatric population, and the steps it is taking to address them; and (3) the ways that HHS has addressed the dispensing of pediatric medical countermeasures in its emergency response plans and guidance, and ways that state and local governments have addressed this issue. Children, who make up 25 percent of the population in the United States, are especially vulnerable because many of the countermeasures in the SNS have only been approved for use in adults. HHS leads the federal efforts to develop and acquire countermeasures.
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