Chapter 4. Manpower. Recommendations and standard operating procedures for intensive care unit and hospital preparations for an influenza epidemic or mass disaster

Intensive Care Med. 2010 Apr;36 Suppl 1:S32-7. doi: 10.1007/s00134-010-1767-y.


Purpose: To provide recommendations and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital preparations for an influenza pandemic or mass disaster with a specific focus on manpower.

Methods: Based on a literature review and expert opinion, a Delphi process was used to define the essential topics including manpower.

Results: Key recommendations include: (1) plan to access, coordinate and increase labor resources for continued and expanded ICU care including increasing critical care specialists and expanded practice for non-critical care personnel; (2) develop an education, awareness, preparation and communication program to ensure a well-protected and prepared workforce with coordinated rapid manpower expansion; (3) maintain a central inventory of all clinical and non-clinical staff with their current roles along with possible emergency re-training possibilities; (4) coordinate all clinical and non-clinical staffing requirements and determine the hospital's daily needs including a sick and no-show list together with ICU requirements; (5) provide clinical care to patients only with clinical staff and not with non-clinical staff; (6) delegate duties not within the scope of workers' practice under crisis conditions with proper supervision and support from experienced clinicians to ensure patient safety; (7) intensivists should supervise nonintensivist physicians to expand the workforce if patient surge exceeds the number of available ICU-trained specialists.

Conclusions: Judicious planning and adoption of protocols for providing adequate manpower are necessary to optimize outcomes during a pandemic.

Publication types

  • Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Disaster Planning / organization & administration*
  • Disaster Planning / standards
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital* / organization & administration
  • Emergency Service, Hospital* / standards
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype*
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Influenza, Human / therapy*
  • Influenza, Human / virology
  • Inservice Training / methods
  • Inservice Training / standards
  • Intensive Care Units* / organization & administration
  • Intensive Care Units* / standards
  • Mass Casualty Incidents
  • Personnel Administration, Hospital / standards
  • Personnel, Hospital / education
  • Personnel, Hospital / standards
  • Personnel, Hospital / supply & distribution
  • Surge Capacity
  • Workforce