The latest medical research on Disaster Medicine

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about disaster medicine gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Radiation and Chemical Program Research for Multi-Utility and Repurposed Countermeasures: A US Department of Health and Human Services Agencies Perspective.

Disaster Prevention & Management

Although chemical and radiological agents cause toxicity through different mechanisms, the multiorgan injuries caused by these threats share simila...

Pralidoxime Is no Longer Fit for Purpose as an Antidote to Organophosphate Poisoning in the United Kingdom.

Disaster Prevention & Management

Pralidoxime is the only oxime antidote to organophosphate poisoning stocked in the United Kingdom, produced by rational drug design in the 1950s. T...

Cutaneous Radiation Injuries: REAC/TS Clinical Experience.

Disaster Prevention & Management

The Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS) is one of the US Department of Energy (DOE)/National Nuclear Security Administrat...

The Use of the Health Belief Model in the Context of Heatwaves Research: A Rapid Review.

Disaster Prevention & Management

As heatwaves increase and intensify worldwide, so has the research aimed at outlining strategies to protect individuals from their impact. Interven...

Regional Anesthesia in the Austere Environment: Lessons Learned from Current Out-of-Hospital Practice.

Wilderness and Environmental Medicine

Pain management for trauma in the extreme environment is vital for both casualty comfort and aiding safe extrication. However, adequate pain management in a resource-limited environment can be challenging and is often limited. We conducted a scoping review of the use of regional anesthesia in the prehospital environment, evaluating which regional anesthetic procedure was performed for various indications, their efficacy, and the type of healthcare provider delivering the anesthetic.

A PRISMA-guided systematic literature review was conducted of Medline, Embase, and Cochrane databases for studies reporting the use of regional anesthesia in the prehospital environment published before June 30, 2022.

Thirty studies met the criteria and were included in the review. The most common types of regional anesthesia were fascia-iliaca compartment block (n = 317, from 12 studies) and femoral nerve block (n = 210, from 8 studies), along with various other blocks for a range of indications. These blocks had good efficacy and a low-risk profile and could be delivered by a wide range of healthcare providers.

Regional anesthesia is an effective and non-resource-heavy pain management tool in prehospital environments, which may be applicable to austere settings. It can cover a wide range of injuries and can avoid systemic complications for casualties that may already be challenging to manage in out-of-hospital settings. Additionally, regional anesthesia can be effectively delivered by a wide range of providers. This review provides a holistic summary of pain management using regional anesthesia in the prehospital environment, with a discussion on its potential use in more extreme settings.

Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Pandemics: Pharmacy Students Impacting Pharmacy Practice in Puerto Rico Through Medication Therapy Management Services During Disasters.

Disaster Medicine and Public Health

Community-based medication therapy management advanced pharmacy practice experiences (MTM APPE) can engage pharmacy students in public health initiatives, including emergency response preparedness, to successfully impact patient care. This study aimed to evaluate pharmacy students' perceptions of their experience on an MTM APPE during disasters in Puerto Rico.

After completing the MTM APPE during times of hurricanes, earthquake or pandemic, pharmacy students were asked to voluntarily participate in a questionnaire about their perception of assisting during a disaster. The survey consisted of 5 questions. Four questions were based on a Likert scale with answers choices ranging from Agree, Not Sure, Disagree, or Not Applicable. One question requested free text comments from participants.

Sixteen students completed the survey. Pharmacy students agreed that the MTM APPE taught them the clinical skills needed to assist and educate individual patients and the community that suffered from a disaster, and that the role of the pharmacist is vital when a disaster disrupts a community's health-care system.

Training in emergency response to disasters should be a considered component of MTM APPE.

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Pre-Hospital Emergency Medical Services: The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on pre-hospital services.

Disaster Prevention & Management

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease outbreak started in China and went on to affect the entire world. Healthcare providers were among the communities that faced severe challenges during the pandemic, and this was especially true of Pre-Hospital Emergency Medical Services (PHEMS) providers.

This study aims to investigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on service requests submitted to PHEMS providers via calls made to emergency hotlines.

Data were obtained on calls made to 112 (the emergency hotline) during March - August 2020 (i.e., during the pandemic) and the same period the previous year (i.e., the pre-pandemic period). These 2 data sets were analyzed and compared using the SPSS 26 software package (IBM Corp., Armonk, New York, USA).

The results of the analysis indicated that the total number of emergency calls received during the pandemic period (11 745) increased compared to the pre-pandemic period (10 747), whereas there was a decrease in the proportion of trauma-related emergency calls during the pandemic period (5.3%) compared to the pre-pandemic period (6.8%). Furthermore, there was a higher proportion of extended service times among ambulances serving in PHEMS during the pandemic period (ambulance movements longer than 90 seconds: 15.6%) compared to the pre-pandemic period (ambulance movements longer than 90 seconds: 8.6%). Non-emergency ambulance usage rate was 44.90% in the pre-pandemic period and 38.90% in the pandemic period.

As the study's results show that there was an increase in the number of calls to PHEMS during the pandemic period, especially given that a significant portion of these calls consisted of non-emergency calls, it is recommended that measures be taken to reduce the excessive load on PHEMS during a pandemic.

A Pediatric-Focused Self-Assessment Tool on Vulnerabilities to Aid Regional Disaster Planning.

Disaster Prevention & Management

A significant number of disaster and emergency victims are children. Yet, many hospitals are ill-prepared to care for these patients during disasters, as identified by the National Pediatric Readiness Project's survey of hospital pediatric disaster plans. The Region V for Kids Center of Excellence created a self-assessment tool to help regions identify vulnerabilities and ways to enhance care for vulnerable children and families.

Region V for Kids identified 9 key domains (eg, infrastructures and support mechanisms) that are important to safeguard children's and families' care during disasters. A self-assessment tool to assess these domains was distributed to 24 regional health care coalitions along with a 9-question usefulness survey. The self-assessment tool addressed 3 of the original domains, which have regional or national open-source databases and datapoints that health care coalitions can access for their responses.

The survey received a 50% response rate. Approximately 40% of respondents indicated they were "somewhat likely" to make changes based on data gathered by the tool. The original self-assessment tool was revised to create an expanded web-based version.

Health care coalitions and localities can use this tool to evaluate pediatric preparedness, identify needed improvements, and improve outcomes for children, families, and communities.

Emergency Department Volumes After State-Wide Lockdown Orders Across the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic: COVID-19 lockdown and emergency volume.

Disaster Prevention & Management

The objective of this study was to describe changes in emergency department volumes after statewide lockdown in a network of hospitals across the United States during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A retrospective study was performed utilizing data on daily volumes across multiple emergency departments from a centralized data warehouse from a private for-profit hospital system during the COVID-19 pandemic. The mean daily volumes of 148 emergency departments were evaluated across 16 states in relation to each state's governmental statewide lockdown orders. Comparisons of the same period in the prior year were evaluated for percent changes in volumes. We also compared pre-lockdown to post-lockdown volumes. A separate analysis was made for the pediatric ED volumes.

The 2020 post-lockdown volumes compared to the same 2019 dates revealed a mean percent change of -43.09%. The overall post-lockdown volumes compared to the pre-lockdown volumes had a mean percent change of -45.00%. The pediatric data revealed a greater mean percentage change in volumes of -71.52% (post-lockdown compared to 2019) and -69.03% (post-lockdown compared to pre-lockdown).

This study found an overall decrease in volumes among 148 emergency departments across 16 states when compared to the comparable period pre-global pandemic.

Excess Mortality During 2020 in Spain: The Most Affected Population, Age, and Educational Group by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Disaster Prevention & Management

The objective of this work was to study mortality increase in Spain during the first and second academic semesters of 2020, coinciding with the first 2 waves of the Covid-19 pandemic; by sex, age, and education.

An observational study was carried out, using linked populations and deaths' data from 2017 to 2020. The mortality rates from all causes and leading causes other than Covid-19 during each semester of 2020, compared to the 2017-2019 averages for the same semester, was also estimated. Mortality rate ratios (MRR) and differences were used for comparison.

All-cause mortality rates increased in 2020 compared to pre-covid, except among working-age, (25-64 years) highly-educated women. Such increases were larger in lower-educated people between the working age range, in both 2020 semesters, but not at other ages. In the elderly, the MMR in the first semester in women and men were respectively, 1.14, and 1.25 among lower-educated people, and 1.28 and 1.23 among highly-educated people. In the second semester, the MMR were 1.12 in both sexes among lower-educated people and 1.13 in women and 1.16 in men among highly-educated people.

Lower-educated people within working age and highly-educated people at older ages showed the greatest increase in all-cause mortality in 2020, compared to the pre-pandemic period.

Nation-Wide Variation in Presence of Legislation or Protocols for EMS Care of Operational Canines.

Prehosp Disaster Med

Deployment of law enforcement operational canines (OpK9s) risks injuries to the animals. This study's aim was to assess the current status of states' OpK9 (veterinary Emergency Medical Services [VEMS]) laws and care protocols within the United States.

Cross-sectional standardized review of state laws/regulations and OpK9 VEMS treatment protocols was undertaken. For each state and for the District of Columbia (DC), the presence of OpK9 legislation and/or care protocols was ascertained. Information was obtained through governmental records and from stakeholders (eg, state EMS medical directors and state veterinary boards).The main endpoints were proportions of states with OpK9 laws and/or treatment protocols. Proportions are reported with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Fisher's exact test (P <.05) assessed whether presence of an OpK9 law in a given jurisdiction was associated with presence of an OpK9 care protocol, and whether there was geographic variation (based on United States Census Bureau regions) in presence of OpK9 laws or protocols.

Of 51 jurisdictions, 20 (39.2%) had OpK9 legislation and 23 (45.1%) had state-wide protocols for EMS treatment of OpK9s. There was no association (P = .991) between presence of legislation and presence of protocols. There was no association (P = .144) between presence of legislation and region: Northeast 66.7% (95% CI, 29.9-92.5%), Midwest 50.0% (95% CI, 21.1-78.9%), South 29.4% (95% CI, 10.3-56.0%), and West 23.1% (95% CI, 5.0-53.8%). There was significant (P = .001) regional variation in presence of state-wide OpK9 treatment protocols: Northeast 100.0% (95% CI, 66.4-100.0%), Midwest 16.7% (95% CI, 2.1-48.4%), South 47.1% (95% CI, 23.0-72.2%), and West 30.8% (95% CI, 9.1-61.4%).

There is substantial disparity with regard to presence of OpK9 legal and/or clinical guidance. National collaborative guidelines development is advisable to optimize and standardize care of OpK9s. Additional attention should be paid to educational and training programs to best utilize the limited available training budgets.

Exploring the Barriers and Facilitators of Mask-Wearing Behavior During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Taiwan, the United States, the Netherlands, and Haiti: A Qualitative Study.

Disaster Prevention & Management

This study explored the barriers and facilitators of mask-wearing behaviors during the pandemic in Taiwan, the United States, the Netherlands, and Haiti.

Face-to-face interviews were conducted in Taiwan and online interviews were conducted with participants in the United States, the Netherlands, and Haiti.

In general, the habit of wearing a mask before coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was reported by Taiwanese participants. Additionally, Taiwanese participants perceived that wearing a mask was a social responsibility during the pandemic, suggesting that the collectivistic context might influence mask-wearing behavior. Unlike the Taiwanese population, some people in the United States and the Netherlands were reluctant to wear masks due to perceived restrictions on their freedom. Participants from Haiti mentioned that people who wore masks encountered violence, bullying, and discrimination. The results of this study suggest that political leadership and mask mandates have a strong impact on people's mask-wearing behavior.

These findings have valuable implications for the design of diverse behavioral interventions to enhance mask-wearing as part of infectious disease preparedness. Additionally, the findings from these countries offer valuable insights for the development of effective public health interventions to enhance society's resilience during the current pandemic and future infectious disease outbreaks.