Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 1935-7893 / 1938-744X
Published by: Cambridge University Press (CUP) (10.1017)
Total articles ≅ 2,393
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Latest articles in this journal

, Hae-Sun Jung, Eun-Ju Choi,
Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness pp 1-7; https://doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2021.308

Objective: The study aimed to examine the experience of disaster healthcare workers with simulation training using the Psychological First Aid (PFA) mobile app. Methods: This study was designed using qualitative research methodology with focus group interviews. The participants were 19 disaster healthcare workers from community mental health service centers who attended disaster simulation training in flood, fire, or leakage of hazardous chemicals. Before the simulation, participants were provided the PFA mobile app and allowed to practice the PFA techniques to apply them during the simulation. Data were collected through focus group interviews and qualitatively analyzed using the content analysis method. Results: The findings were divided into 6 categories: experience in realistic disaster situations, satisfaction with education methods using a mobile app, effectiveness of the PFA app in disaster relief, confidence in disaster relief by integrating experience and knowledge of the PFA app, self-reflection as a disaster healthcare worker, and identifying limitations and making developmental suggestions. Conclusions: Based on the participants’ developmental proposals in this study, the disaster simulation training, incorporating improvements in the disaster simulation training and the PFA app features, will serve as a new framework for disaster support education and systematic mental health services to survivors by disaster healthcare workers.
, Dreamal L. Worthen, Mary Helen McSweeney-Feld, Allison Gibson, Dominika Seblova, Lisandra Pagán, M. Isabela Troya, Mei Lan Fang, Brenda Owusu, Charlene Lane, et al.
Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness pp 1-5; https://doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2021.276

Objective: This study aims for a greater understanding of how older adults (age 65 and older) in Jackson County, Florida, are prepared for and cope with the effects of a natural disaster. Methods: A multidisciplinary, international research team developed a survey examining: (1) resources available to individuals aged 65+ in rural communities for preparing for a disaster; (2) challenges they face when experiencing a disaster; and (3) their physical, social, emotional, and financial needs when it strikes. The survey was administered with older adults (65+) in Jackson County, Florida, following Hurricane Michael in 2018. The descriptive, multivariate logistic, and linear regression analyses were performed to examine the relationship between respondents’ demographic information and needs, concerns, and consequences of disaster. Results: Results indicated (n = 139) rural community-dwelling older adults rely on social support, community organizations, and trusted disaster relief agencies to prepare for and recover from disaster-related events. Conclusions: Such findings can be used to inform the development of new interventions, programs, policies, practices, and tools for emergency management and social service agencies to improve disaster preparedness and resiliency among older populations in rural communities.
Hamad Al-Romaihi, , Vahe Kehyayan, Sherine Shawky, Hana Al-Masri, Lylu Mahadoon, Elmoubasher Farag, Tim Frazier
Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness pp 1-5; https://doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2021.296

Objective: This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude, and training of health-care workers (HCW), and their perception of the preparedness of hospitals for communicable disease (CD) threats during mass gathering (MG) events. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted from June 1 to July 31, 2019, of doctors and registered nurses working in the emergency departments (EDs) of 5 main hospitals in Qatar. A self-administered online survey was used for data collection. Results: The overall mean knowledge score about CD threat among study participants was 75.0% (SD ± 18.1). The majority of the participants had a favorable attitude toward CD preparedness during MG events. The participants achieved high scores in attending workshops on triaging, first aid, and infection control. Study participants as well had favorable perceptions about the current preparedness of their respective hospitals to respond to CD outbreaks in MG events. Conclusions: The participants were knowledgeable about the risk of CD outbreaks during MG events (eg, Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) World Cup games 2022) and had a favorable attitude and necessary training to respond to such outbreaks. Regular practice drills are necessary to ensure that all members of the workforce are knowledgeable of the necessary actions to take in emergent high-risk situations.
Mohammed Adinoyi Usman
Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness pp 1-10; https://doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2021.292

Objectives: Although the importance of ketamine in clinical practice and in resource-poor settings and disaster zones, several attempts were made to reschedule it because of the issues around its misuse. Resisting future moves to reschedule ketamine is important for its continuous availability where needed. This scoping review addresses the question of whether ketamine should or should not be banned and the state of preparedness of low resource settings if ketamine petitions become successful in the future. Methods: A search was performed using PubMed and Google Scholar to identify articles published in the English language from March 2015 to August 2020. The articles were searched with a wide range of priori search terms related to the research questions. The selection of articles was based on relevance and eligibility. Results: Seventy-five articles were selected and grouped into 4 ethical themes. The search revealed that several articles addressed the importance of ketamine, pharmacology, misuse, supply, and consequences of a ketamine ban; however, none addressed how resource-poor countries should prepare for a future without the overreliance of ketamine. Conclusion: Four ketamine petitions in about 10 years are an indication that another may resurface soon; therefore, it is important to continue to study the clinical importance of ketamine while discouraging its overreliance for clinical practice.
Silvia Asenjo, Aitor López-González, David Muñoz-Santanach, Victoria Trenchs, Carles Luaces,
Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness pp 1-3; https://doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2021.252

Objective: Emergency departments should improve their preparedness for mass casualty incidents (MCIs) through periodic drills. These exercises are conducted while maintaining regular care. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of a disaster drill in a pediatric emergency department (PED) on real patients’ waiting times. Methods: On September 10, 2019, a 4-h disaster drill was conducted in the PED of a tertiary pediatric hospital, with minimal staff reinforcement (2 nurses). Cases were real patients that came to the PED during the drill. The patients that visited the PED the day before were the control group. Variables analyzed were: age, sex, destination, triage level, time-to-triage, time-to-physician, length of PED stay, and percentage of patients visited within the optimal time according to triage level. Results: Sixty-eight patients (case group) and 63 patients (control group) were analyzed; both groups were comparable except for the median age. There were no differences in time-to-triage, time-to-physician, and length of PED stay between the 2 groups. The percentage of patients visited within optimal time according to triage level was higher in the case group. Conclusions: Conducting an MCI drill in the PED, with minimal staff reinforcement, was not detrimental to real patients’ waiting times.
Hua-Yu Zhang, Yong Guo, Hao Tang, Xiao-Ying Huang, Dong Liu, Yu-Zhuo Han, Peng Chen, Yang Li, Lian-Yang Zhang
Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness pp 1-9; https://doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2021.273

Objective: Noncompressible torso hemorrhage (NCTH) is a major challenge in prehospital bleeding control and is associated with high mortality. This study was performed to estimate medical knowledge and the perceived barriers to information acquisition among health-care workers (HCWs) regarding NCTH in China. Methods: A self-administered and validated questionnaire was distributed among 11 WeChat groups consisting of HCWs engaged in trauma, emergency, and disaster rescue. Results: A total of 575 HCWs participated in this study. In the knowledge section, the majority (87.1%) denied that successful hemostasis could be obtained by external compression. Regarding attitudes, the vast majority of HCWs exhibited positive attitudes toward the important role of NCTH in reducing prehospital preventable death (90.4%) and enthusiasm for continuous learning (99.7%). For practice, fewer than half of HCWs (45.7%) had heard of NCTH beforehand, only a minority (14.3%) confirmed they had attended relevant continuing education, and 16.3% HCWs had no access to updated medical information. The most predominant barrier to information acquisition was the lack of continuing training (79.8%). Conclusions: Knowledge and practice deficiencies do exist among HCWs. Obstacles to update medical information warrant further attention. Furthermore, education program redesign is also needed.
Mustafa Abumeeiz, Lauren Elliott, Phillip Olla
Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness pp 1-16; https://doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2021.317

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is currently a need for accurate, rapid, and easy-to-administer diagnostic tools to help communities manage local outbreaks and assess the spread of disease. The use of Artificial Intelligence within the domain of breath analysis techniques has shown to have potential in diagnosing a variety of diseases such as cancer and lung disease by analyzing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath. This combined with their rapid, easy-to-use, and non-invasive nature makes them a good candidate for use in diagnosing COVID-19 in large scale public health operations. However, there remains issues with their implementation when it comes to the infrastructure currently available to support their use on a broad scale. This includes issues of standardization, and whether or not a characteristic VOC pattern can be identified for COVID-19. Despite these difficulties, breathalysers offer potential to assist in pandemic responses and their use should be investigated.
Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness pp 1-23; https://doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2021.315

Objective: To examine how sociodemographic variables and frequency of media consumption affect hoarding behaviour and food insecurity concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: A quantitative, non-experimental, correlational online survey was administered using a convenience sample of 203 participants from the United Kingdom with no medical issues that affected buying behaviour during the pandemic to examine perceptions related to food insecurity, and self-reported food hoarding behaviour Results: Younger adults and lower income groups reported higher food insecurity perceptions and hoarding behaviours. Consuming COVID-19 information from websites was significantly associated with food insecurity perceptions, while information from social media was significantly associated with more food hoarding behaviours. Conclusions: Younger adults and lower income groups are vulnerable populations from the perspective of food insecurity and hoarding behaviour in times of health disasters like pandemics. While social media can play a positively catalytic role during crises, excessive online information and misinformation can contribute negatively to public panic and feelings of insecurity. Implications for disaster preparedness and future research are discussed. The findings suggest that age is the main predictor of food insecurity and hoarding behaviour, with younger adults more likely to be affected. They also suggest that people are turning to NHS wesbites, which were deemed more trustworthy than social media, to avoid ‘news fatigue’ and avoiding speculation. Suggestions for future research were made, specifically to examine people’s social support during the pandemic to understand its’ potential link to stockpiling behaviour or food insecurity concerns.
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