BACKGROUND: Planning for mass critical care (MCC) in resource-poor or constrained settings has been largely ignored, despite their large populations that are prone to suffer disproportionately from natural disasters. Addressing MCC in these settings has the potential to help vast numbers of people and also to inform planning for better-resourced areas. METHODS: The Resource-Poor Settings panel developed five key question domains; defining the term resource poor and using the traditional phases of disaster (mitigation/preparedness/response/recovery), literature searches were conducted to identify evidence on which to answer the key questions in these areas. Given a lack of data upon which to develop evidence-based recommendations, expert-opinion suggestions were developed, and consensus was achieved using a modified Delphi process. RESULTS: The five key questions were then separated as follows: definition, infrastructure and capacity building, resources, response, and reconstitution/recovery of host nation critical care capabilities and research. Addressing these questions led the panel to off er 33 suggestions. Because of the large number of suggestions, the results have been separated into two sections: part 1, Infrastructure/Capacity in this article, and part 2, Response/Recovery/Research in the accompanying article. CONCLUSIONS: Lack of, or presence of, rudimentary ICU resources and limited capacity to enhance services further challenge resource-poor and constrained settings. Hence, capacity building entails preventative strategies and strengthening of primary health services. Assistance from other countries and organizations is needed to mount a surge response. Moreover, planning should include when to disengage and how the host nation can provide capacity beyond the mass casualty care event.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The authors have reported to CHEST the following conflicts: Dr West receives research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Wellcome Trust, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the Firland Foundation, and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation. The remaining authors have reported that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.