Updated information on the H1N1 flu virus is now included in a condensed version of a 2007 mass medical care planning guide published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The report, "Mass Medical Care With Scarce Resources: The Essentials" is a resource for community planners to prepare for public health emergencies, such as pandemic flu, when demand for medical resources outweighs supply.

The 70-page guide sets out a framework of basic steps that planners may take to prepare for a mass casualty event. It addresses ethical and legal issues and provides tips on preparing for the provision of services to address: pre-hospital treatment, acute hospital care, alternative care sites and palliative care during disaster conditions. "The Essentials" also includes a special section on influenza pandemic preparedness. The report is an abbreviated version of AHRQ's "Mass Medical Care With Scarce Resources: a Community Planning Guide."

View the "Mass Medical Care With Scarce Resources: The Essentials" report on AHRQ's Web site or you can order it from the AHRQ Clearinghouse by calling 1-800-358-9295 or e-mailing AHRQPubs@ahrq.hhs.gov. Ask for AHRQ Pub. No. 09-0016. For more AHRQ resources on public health emergency preparedness, visit www.ahrq.gov/prep/.

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