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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2022 01 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598583

ABSTRACT

Henan province, located in central China, suffered a heavy rainstorm and an outbreak of COVID-19 from the middle of July to the middle of August. We review and investigate the emergency response to these two events. The influence of the compound disaster on provincial economic operations, fixed assets, consumer goods, the logistics industry, high-tech manufacturing, and strategic emerging industries is analyzed in detail. Since the province's economic situation has been positive for a long time, the influence of the compound disaster was short-term. The countermeasures to the pandemic were efficient since they had previously been in practice at various times in 2020. However, in the face of unusual disasters such as the rainstorm, the gap between early warning and emergency response needs to be bridged, and the sources of relief funds should be diversified.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disaster Planning , Disasters , China/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580861

ABSTRACT

Although evidence suggests that successive climate disasters are on the rise, few studies have documented the disproportionate impacts on communities of color. Through the unique lens of successive disaster events (Hurricane Harvey and Winter Storm Uri) coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, we assessed disaster exposure in minority communities in Harris County, Texas. A mixed methods approach employing qualitative and quantitative designs was used to examine the relationships between successive disasters (and the role of climate change), population geography, race, and health disparities-related outcomes. This study identified four communities in the greater Houston area with predominantly non-Hispanic African American residents. We used data chronicling the local community and environment to build base maps and conducted spatial analyses using Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping. We complemented these data with focus groups to assess participants' experiences in disaster planning and recovery, as well as community resilience. Thematic analysis was used to identify key patterns. Across all four communities, we observed significant Hurricane Harvey flooding and significantly greater exposure to 10 of the 11 COVID-19 risk factors examined, compared to the rest of the county. Spatial analyses reveal higher disease burden, greater social vulnerability, and significantly higher community-level risk factors for both pandemics and disaster events in the four communities, compared to all other communities in Harris County. Two themes emerged from thematic data analysis: (1) Prior disaster exposure prepared minority populations in Harris County to better handle subsequent disaster suggesting enhanced disaster resilience, and (2) social connectedness was key to disaster resiliency. Long-standing disparities make people of color at greater risk for social vulnerability. Addressing climate change offers the potential to alleviate these health disparities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cyclonic Storms , Disaster Planning , Disasters , Climate Change , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Vulnerability , Texas
4.
Am J Disaster Med ; 16(3): 207-213, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572829

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Many hospital units, including obstetric (OB) units, were unprepared when the novel coronavirus began sweeping through communities. National and international bodies, including the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control Prevention, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, directed enormous efforts to present the latest evidence-based practices to healthcare institutions and communities. The first hospitals that were affected in China and the United States (US) did heroic work in assisting their colleagues with best practices they had acquired. Despite these resources, many US hospitals struggled with how to best incorporate and implement this new information into disaster plans, and many protocol changes had to be established de novo. In general, disaster planning for OB units lagged behind other disaster planning performed by specialties such as emergency medicine, trauma, and pediatrics. PARTICIPANTS: Fortunately, two pre-existing collaborative disaster groups, the OB Disaster Planning Workgroup and the Western Regional Alliance for Pediatric Emergency Management, were able to rapidly deploy during the pandemic due to their pre-established networks and shared goals. MAIN OUTCOME: These groups were able to share best practices, identify and address knowledge gaps, and disseminate information on a broad scale. The case will be made that the OB community needs to establish more such regional and national disaster committees that meet year-round. This will ensure that in times of urgency, these groups can increase the cadence of their meetings, and thus rapidly disperse time-sensitive policies and procedures for OB units nationwide. CONCLUSION: Given the unique patient population, it is imperative that OB units establish regional coalitions to facilitate a coordinated response to local and national disasters.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disaster Planning , Disasters , Obstetrics , Child , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
5.
Br J Anaesth ; 128(2): e104-e108, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568531

ABSTRACT

Preparedness for mass casualty events is essential at local, national, and global levels. Much more needs to be done by all stakeholders to avoid unnecessary morbidity and mortality despite the challenges that COVID-19 continues to present. In this editorial, we highlight the challenges and solutions for mass casualty incident preparations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disaster Planning , Mass Casualty Incidents , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Prehosp Disaster Med ; 36(6): 661-663, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526023

ABSTRACT

While the opioid epidemic engulfing the United States and the globe is well-documented, the potential use of powerful fentanyl derivatives as a weapon of terror is increasingly a concern. Carfentanyl, a powerful and deadly fentanyl derivative, is seeing a surge in popularity as an illegal street drug, and there is increasing congressional interest surrounding the classification of opioid derivatives under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) given their potential to cause harm. The combination of the potency of opioid derivatives along with the ease of accessibility poses a potential risk of the use of these deadly agents as chemical weapons, particularly by terrorist organizations. Disaster Medicine specialists in recent years have established a sub-specialty in Counter-Terrorism Medicine (CTM) to address and research the unique terrorism-related issues relating to mitigation, preparedness, and response measures to asymmetric, multi-modality terrorist attacks.


Subject(s)
Disaster Planning , Terrorism , Analgesics, Opioid/adverse effects , Humans , United States
7.
Prehosp Disaster Med ; 36(6): 684-690, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526022

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Different disaster activities should be performed smoothly. In relation to this, human resources for disaster activities must be secured. To achieve a stable supply of human resources, it is essential to improve the intentions of individuals responding to each type of disaster. However, the current intention of Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) members has not yet been assessed. STUDY OBJECTIVE: To facilitate a smooth disaster response, this survey aimed to assess the intention to engage in each type of disaster activity among DMAT members. METHODS: An anonymous web questionnaire survey was conducted. Japanese DMAT members in the nuclear disaster-affected area (Group A; n = 79) and the non-affected area (Group N; n = 99) were included in the analysis. The outcome was the answer to the following question: "Will you actively engage in activities during natural, human-made, and chemical (C), biological (B), radiological/nuclear (R/N), and explosive (E) (CBRNE) disasters?" Then, questionnaire responses were compared according to disaster type. RESULTS: The intention to engage in C (50), B (47), R/N (58), and E (52) disasters was significantly lower than that in natural (82) and human-made (82) disasters (P <.001). The intention to engage in CBRNE disasters among younger participants (age ≤39 years) was significantly higher in Group A than in Group N. By contrast, the intention to engage in R/N disasters alone among older participants (age ≥40 years) was higher in Group A than in Group N. However, there was no difference between the two groups in terms of intention to engage in C, B, and E disasters. Moreover, the intention to engage in all disasters between younger and older participants in Group A did not differ. In Group N, older participants had a significantly higher intention to engage in B and R/N disasters. CONCLUSION: Experience with a specific type of calamity at a young age may improve intention to engage in not only disasters encountered, but also other types. In addition, the intention to engage in CBRNE disasters improved with age in the non-experienced population. To respond smoothly to specific disasters in the future, measures must be taken to improve the intention to engage in CBRNE disasters among DMAT members.


Subject(s)
Disaster Planning , Disasters , Adult , Humans , Intention , Medical Assistance , Surveys and Questionnaires , Workforce
9.
Curr Psychiatry Rep ; 23(12): 80, 2021 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525618

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This paper reviews the empirical literature on exposures to disaster or terrorism and their impacts on the health and well-being of children with disabilities and their families since the last published update in 2017. We also review the literature on studies examining the mental health and functioning of children with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. RECENT FINDINGS: Few studies have examined the effects of disaster or terrorism on children with disabilities. Research shows that children with disabilities and their families have higher levels of disaster exposure, lower levels of disaster preparedness, and less recovery support due to longstanding discriminatory practices. Similarly, many reports of the COVID-19 pandemic have documented its negative and disproportionate impacts on children with disabilities and their families. In the setting of climate change, environmental disasters are expected to increase in frequency and severity. Future studies identifying mitigating factors to disasters, including COVID-19; increasing preparedness on an individual, community, and global level; and evaluating post-disaster trauma-informed treatment practices are imperative to support the health and well-being of children with disabilities and their families.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disabled Persons , Disaster Planning , Disasters , Terrorism , Adolescent , Child , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(21)2021 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512306

ABSTRACT

To ensure human resource availability for a smooth response during various types of disasters, there is a need to improve the intent of those involved in responding to each hazard type. However, Disaster Medical Assistance Team personnel's intent to engage with specific hazards has yet to be clarified. This study therefore aimed to clarify the factors affecting Disaster Medical Assistance Team members' (n = 178) intent to engage with each type of hazard through an anonymous web questionnaire survey containing 20 questions. Our results show that the intent to engage in disaster response activities was significantly lower for chemical (50), biological (47), radiological/nuclear (58), and explosive (52) incidents compared with natural (82) and man-made hazards (82) (p < 0.01). Multiple regression analysis showed that incentives were the most common factor affecting responders' intent to engage with all hazard types, followed by self-confidence. Thus, creating a system that provides generous incentives could effectively improve disaster responders' intent to engage with specific hazards. Another approach could be education and training to increase disaster responders' confidence. We believe that the successful implementation of these measures would improve the intent of responders to engage with hazards and promote the recruitment of sufficient human resources.


Subject(s)
Disaster Planning , Disasters , Humans , Intention , Medical Assistance , Motivation
13.
Int J Prison Health ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)2021 08 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501266

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: In this work, the authors present some of the key results found during early efforts to model the COVID-19 outbreak inside a UK prison. In particular, this study describes outputs from an idealised disease model that simulates the dynamics of a COVID-19 outbreak in a prison setting when varying levels of social interventions are in place, and a Monte Carlo-based model that assesses the reduction in risk of case importation, resulting from a process that requires incoming prisoners to undergo a period of self-isolation prior to admission into the general prison population. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: Prisons, typically containing large populations confined in a small space with high degrees of mixing, have long been known to be especially susceptible to disease outbreaks. In an attempt to meet rising pressures from the emerging COVID-19 situation in early 2020, modellers for Public Health England's Joint Modelling Cell were asked to produce some rapid response work that sought to inform the approaches that Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) might take to reduce the risk of case importation and sustained transmission in prison environments. FINDINGS: Key results show that deploying social interventions has the potential to considerably reduce the total number of infections, while such actions could also reduce the probability that an initial infection will propagate into a prison-wide outbreak. For example, modelling showed that a 50% reduction in the risk of transmission (compared to an unmitigated outbreak) could deliver a 98% decrease in total number of cases, while this reduction could also result in 86.8% of outbreaks subsiding before more than five persons have become infected. Furthermore, this study also found that requiring new arrivals to self-isolate for 10 and 14 days prior to admission could detect up to 98% and 99% of incoming infections, respectively. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: In this paper we have presented models which allow for the studying of COVID-19 in a prison scenario, while also allowing for the assessment of proposed social interventions. By publishing these works, the authors hope these methods might aid in the management of prisoners across additional scenarios and even during subsequent disease outbreaks. Such methods as described may also be readily applied use in other closed community settings. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: These works went towards informing HMPPS on the impacts that the described strategies might have during COVID-19 outbreaks inside UK prisons. The works described herein are readily amendable to the study of a range of addition outbreak scenarios. There is also room for these methods to be further developed and built upon which the timeliness of the original project did not permit.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Disaster Planning/organization & administration , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , Prisons/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Forecasting , Health Personnel/education , Humans , United Kingdom
14.
J Emerg Manag ; 19(7): 9-18, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497648

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has created new workforce considerations for emergency management community in addressing cumulative and cascading disasters. This research identifies how emergency management planning for both the changing dynamics of COVID-19 and the upcoming hurricane season may change under a compound threat. Many jurisdictions have faced challenges in providing adequate staffing of shelters before the pandemic. Now, fatigue among staff further exacerbates these challenges as resources are stretched thin. Six workshops, involving 265 national, state, and local leaders, staff, experts, and advocates from 22 states, and a range of disciplines (disaster planning, public health, social services, academia, and healthcare), were convened to identify concerns and potential strategies to address staffing, training, logistics, and support. Strategies proposed to increase the number and skill set of staff available involve increased reliance upon volunteers and nonprofit organizations. Mental health resources, personal protective equipment, sanitation supplies, and defining roles within emergency shelters were recommended to reduce fatigue and redistribute responsibilities. Findings illuminate additional research avenues regarding assessing the underlying stressors contributing to the planning process and effective means of implementing these interventions to bolster emergency management shelter operations during a prolonged pandemic and in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cyclonic Storms , Disaster Planning , Disasters , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Workforce
15.
Elife ; 92020 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497819

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 presents an unprecedented international challenge, but it will not be the last such threat. Here, we argue that the world needs to be much better prepared to rapidly detect, define and defeat future pandemics. We propose that a Global Immunological Observatory and associated developments in systems immunology, therapeutics and vaccine design should be at the heart of this enterprise.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disaster Planning/organization & administration , Global Health , International Cooperation , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Population Surveillance , Animals , Anti-Infective Agents , COVID-19 , Climate Change , Cohort Studies , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/diagnosis , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/immunology , Drug Development , Forecasting , Global Health/trends , Humans , Interdisciplinary Communication , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Models, Animal , Population Surveillance/methods , Serologic Tests , Vaccines , Weather , Zoonoses
16.
Holist Nurs Pract ; 35(6): 321-325, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467438

ABSTRACT

Trauma clusters are formed when 2 or more disasters occur simultaneously and/or consecutively. These disasters have the propensity to potentiate health disparities. The purpose of this article is to share thoughts about critical caring theory and how the theory can inform holistic nursing action when health disparity amplifies trauma clustering.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disaster Planning , Disasters , Natural Disasters , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
17.
J Med Ethics ; 46(8): 495-498, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467727

ABSTRACT

Key ethical challenges for healthcare workers arising from the COVID-19 pandemic are identified: isolation and social distancing, duty of care and fair access to treatment. The paper argues for a relational approach to ethics which includes solidarity, relational autonomy, duty, equity, trust and reciprocity as core values. The needs of the poor and socially disadvantaged are highlighted. Relational autonomy and solidarity are explored in relation to isolation and social distancing. Reciprocity is discussed with reference to healthcare workers' duty of care and its limits. Priority setting and access to treatment raise ethical issues of utility and equity. Difficult ethical dilemmas around triage, do not resuscitate decisions, and withholding and withdrawing treatment are discussed in the light of recently published guidelines. The paper concludes with the hope for a wider discussion of relational ethics and a glimpse of a future after the pandemic has subsided.


Subject(s)
Decision Making/ethics , Ethics, Clinical , Health Care Rationing/ethics , Health Equity/ethics , Health Personnel/ethics , Pandemics/ethics , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disaster Planning , Humans , Moral Obligations , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Poverty , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Professional-Patient Relations , Resuscitation Orders , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Values , Triage/ethics , Vulnerable Populations , Withholding Treatment/ethics
18.
J Med Ethics ; 46(8): 514-525, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467726

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Humanitarian crises and emergencies, events often marked by high mortality, have until recently excluded palliative care-a specialty focusing on supporting people with serious or terminal illness or those nearing death. In the COVID-19 pandemic, palliative care has received unprecedented levels of societal attention. Unfortunately, this has not been enough to prevent patients dying alone, relatives not being able to say goodbye and palliative care being used instead of intensive care due to resource limitations. Yet global guidance was available. In 2018, the WHO released a guide on 'Integrating palliative care and symptom relief into the response to humanitarian emergencies and crises'-the first guidance on the topic by an international body. AIMS: This paper argues that while a landmark document, the WHO guide took a narrowly clinical bioethics perspective and missed crucial moral dilemmas. We argue for adding a population-level bioethics lens, which draws forth complex moral dilemmas arising from the fact that groups having differential innate and acquired resources in the context of social and historical determinants of health. We discuss dilemmas concerning: limitations of material and human resources; patient prioritisation; euthanasia; and legacy inequalities, discrimination and power imbalances. IMPLICATIONS: In parts of the world where opportunity for preparation still exists, and as countries emerge from COVID-19, planners must consider care for the dying. Immediate steps to support better resolutions to ethical dilemmas of the provision of palliative care in humanitarian and emergency contexts will require honest debate; concerted research effort; and international, national and local ethical guidance.


Subject(s)
Bioethical Issues , Delivery of Health Care/ethics , Disaster Planning , Palliative Care/ethics , Pandemics/ethics , Terminal Care/ethics , Altruism , Betacoronavirus , Bioethics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Critical Care , Decision Making/ethics , Emergencies , Ethics, Clinical , Global Health , Health Care Rationing , Health Equity , Health Resources , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Stress, Psychological
19.
BMJ Mil Health ; 166(1): 37-41, 2020 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1452951

ABSTRACT

Major disease outbreaks continue to be a significant risk to public health, with pandemic influenza or an emerging infectious disease outbreak at the top of the UK National Risk Register. The risk of deliberate release of a biological agent is lower but remains possible and may only be recognised after casualties seek medical attention. In this context the emergency preparedness, resilience and response (EPRR) process protects the public from high consequence infectious diseases, other infectious disease outbreaks and biological agent release. The core elements of the EPRR response are recognition of an outbreak, isolation of patients, appropriate personal protective equipment for medical staff and actions to minimise further disease spread. The paper discusses how high-threat agents may be recognised by clinicians, the initial actions to be taken on presentation and how the public health system is notified and responds. It draws on the national pandemic influenza plans to describe the wider response to a major disease outbreak and discusses training requirements and the potential role of the military.


Subject(s)
Biohazard Release , Civil Defense , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Military Personnel , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health Practice , Biohazard Release/prevention & control , Civil Defense/education , Communicable Disease Control , Communicable Diseases/diagnosis , Disaster Planning , Disease Notification , Humans , Influenza, Human/therapy , Interinstitutional Relations , Patient Isolation , Personal Protective Equipment , United Kingdom
20.
Health Secur ; 19(5): 532-540, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450358

ABSTRACT

Emergency preparedness systems plan for antibiotic distribution and vaccine administration to respond to public health threats. The arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine underscores the importance of organized logistics for rapid administration to populations. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cities Readiness Initiative encourages frontline responders from 72 US cities and metropolitan statistical areas to use planning software, such as RealOpt-POD-v8.0.2, to design dispensing operations and predict staffing needs. However, planning can be difficult for local jurisdictions given uncertainty about how long it may take to complete various processes during a dispensing operation, including assessment of countermeasure needs for each person (eg, based on age or pregnancy status) and the careful dispensing of countermeasures and accompanying education. The Union County Health Department in Ohio gathered data on the timing of typical processes for an anthrax medical countermeasures distribution site through a small-scale drill and used these data to parameterize a RealOpt model capable of serving the rural county's population of just over 50,000 people within 24 hours. Results help fill a gap in parameterizing RealOpt-based planning models by highlighting the use of a small-scale drill to inform time estimates, which can be applied to RealOpt as part of county-level planning in advance of larger-scale drills to evaluate dispensing capabilities and effectiveness. The findings provide a methodological basis of future resource typing for adaptable and scalable dispensing, particularly for rural areas. Both the approach and resulting antibiotics dispensing schematic presented here could be tailored to support planning for population-based countermeasure administration to combat emerging pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disaster Planning , Medical Countermeasures , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , Software
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