National Preparedness: Efforts to Address the Medical Needs of Children in a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear Incident, Report to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives [open pdf - 883KB]
"The nation remains vulnerable to terrorist and other threats posed by CBRN [chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear] agents. Medical countermeasures--drugs, vaccines, and medical devices--can prevent or treat the effects of exposure to CBRN agents, and countermeasures are available in the SNS for some of these agents. Children, who make up 25 percent of the population in the United States, are especially vulnerable because many of the countermeasures in the SNS [Strategic National Stockpile] have only been approved for use in adults. HHS leads the federal efforts to develop and acquire countermeasures. GAO [Government Accountability Office] 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 SNS that are approved for pediatric use; (2) the challenges HHS [Health and Human Services] 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. To address these objectives, GAO reviewed relevant laws, agency documents, and reports, and interviewed HHS officials, industry representatives, and subject-matter experts. GAO also reviewed a stratified sample of emergency response plans from seven state and seven local governments, based on geographic location and population size, to assess how these governments address pediatric dispensing."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/