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1.
Sci Total Environ ; 849: 157881, 2022 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2049903

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To examine the impact of the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) fire and COVID-19 on airborne particulate matter (PM) concentrations and the PM disproportionally affecting communities in Houston using low-cost sensors. METHODS: We compared measurements from a network of low-cost sensors with a separate network of monitors from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Houston metropolitan area from Mar 18, 2019, to Dec 31, 2020. Further, we examined the associations between neighborhood-level sociodemographic status and air pollution patterns by linking the low-cost sensor data to EPA environmental justice screening and mapping systems. FINDINGS: We found increased PM levels during ITC fire and pre-COVID-19, and lower PM levels after the COVID-19 lockdown, comparable to observations from the regulatory monitors, with higher variations and a greater number of locations with high PM levels detected. In addition, the environmental justice analysis showed positive associations between higher PM levels and the percentage of minority, low-income population, and demographic index. IMPLICATION: Our study indicates that low-cost sensors provide pollutant measures with higher spatial variations and a better ability to identify hot spots and high peak concentrations. These advantages provide critical information for disaster response and environmental justice studies. SYNOPSIS: We used measurements from a low-cost sensor network for air pollution monitoring and environmental justice analysis to examine the impact of anthropogenic and natural disasters.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/analysis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Environmental Justice , Environmental Monitoring , Explosions , Humans , Particulate Matter/analysis
2.
Prehosp Disaster Med ; 37(4): 529-534, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860248

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: On August 4, 2020, a massive explosion struck the Beirut Harbor in Lebanon. Approximately 220 people were killed and around 7,000 were injured, of which 12% were hospitalized. Despite being weakened by economic crisis and increasing numbers of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, the national health care system responded promptly. Within a day, international health care assistance in the form of International Emergency Medical Teams (I-EMTs) started arriving. Previous studies have found that I-EMTs have arrived late and have not been adapted to the context and dominating health care needs. The aim of this study was to document the organization, type, activity, and timing of I-EMTs deployed to Beirut and to discuss their relevance in relation to medical needs. METHODS: Data on all deployed I-EMTs were retrieved from all available sources, including internet searches, I-EMT contacts, and from the World Health Organization (WHO) EMT coordination cell (EMT CC) in Lebanon. The WHO EMT classification was used to categorize deployed teams. Information on characteristics, timing, and activities was retrieved and systematically assessed. RESULTS: Nine I-EMTs were deployed to Beirut following the explosion. Five were equivalent to EMT Type 2 (field hospitals), out of which three were military. The first EMT Type 2 arrived within 24 hours, while the last EMT set up one month after the explosion. Four civilian I-EMTs provided non-clinical support as EMT Specialized Care Teams. A majority of the I-EMTs were focused on trauma care. Three of the four I-EMT Specialized Care Teams were rapidly re-tasked to support COVID-19 care in public hospitals. CONCLUSION: A majority of the deployed I-EMT Type 2 were military and focused on trauma care rather than the normal burden of disease including COVID-19. Re-tasking of EMTs requires flexible EMTs. To be better adapted, the I-EMT response should be guided by a systematic assessment of both health care capacities in the affected country as well as the varying health effects of hazards before deployment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Medical Services , COVID-19/epidemiology , Explosions , Humans , Mobile Health Units , World Health Organization
3.
World Neurosurg ; 162: e659-e663, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768590

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In this paper, we shed the light on Beirut's blast that took place in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) era. An explosion that ripped the heart of Beirut, it produced a destructive shock wave that left thousands of casualties and people homeless. This explosion, which had a mushroom-like cloud appearance similar to that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was described as the third-biggest explosion in human history. It was a blast that not only destroyed lives but also fell as a heavy burden on the shoulders of a country that was suffering from unprecedented economic crisis on top of the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing all this, health care providers were the first line of defense in what looked like an impossible mission. OBJECTIVE: We seek to share with the medical community our experience and the challenges we faced, as a neurosurgery team, during this event, particularly that we were short of basic medical equipment as well as intensive care unit beds since we were in the middle of an economic crisis and the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This prohibited us from delivering proper care, whether in the triage of patients or in the operating room, as well as postoperative care. Now, 1 year after this sad event, we revisit the whole situation and examine all the pitfalls that could have been avoided. Thus, we discuss the importance of initiating a disaster response, in particular the neurosurgical emergency response, to be better prepared to face future potential events. CONCLUSIONS: The rate-limiting step in such disasters is definitely a well-prepared trained team with a prompt and fast response. And, since time is brain, then what saves the brain is proper timing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurosurgery , Explosions , Humans , Pandemics , Tertiary Care Centers
4.
BMJ ; 376: o19, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685528
5.
Emerg Med J ; 38(12): 938-939, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1533061
8.
CMAJ ; 193(19): E698-E699, 2021 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231267
10.
Int Nurs Rev ; 68(1): 1-8, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199698

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization designated last year as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. And as we know worldwide, 2020 became an unforgettable year as nurses and midwives everywhere confronted the COVID-19 pandemic. To be a nurse in 2020 was challenging and heroic, but being a nurse in 2020 in Beirut, Lebanon was so extraordinarily charged with adversity. The country witnessed in a one-year series of tragedies of epic dimensions - laying a heavy toll on front-line nurses. We present our stories as eight Lebanese nurses, giving voice to our incredible experiences and our ongoing resilience in the face of these adversities. We served in the emergency department of a Beirut city hospital after a catastrophic explosion occurred in the capital on the 4th of August 2020. We reported for duty during a disaster of immense magnitude and are now coping with the aftermath of trauma. As nurses, we have faced many traumas in our country that has experienced through war and terrorism for decades. Arising from this disaster and challenges of the pandemic, we give policy recommendations that deserve urgent attention in Lebanon and underscore the need for disaster preparation, funding, education and importantly mental health care for nurses and other health professionals with help and support of the international community.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Economic Recession , Explosions , Nurse's Role , Attitude of Health Personnel , Disaster Planning , Humans , Lebanon/epidemiology , Mass Casualty Incidents , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(2): 104, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101582
12.
Med Gas Res ; 10(4): 193-200, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1004844

ABSTRACT

Recent development regarding mixture of H2 (concentration of ~66%) with O2 (concentration of ~34%) for medical purpose, such as treatment of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) patients, is introduced. Furthermore, the design principles of a hydrogen inhaler which generates mixture of hydrogen (~66%) with oxygen (~34%) for medical purpose are proposed. With the installation of the liquid blocking module and flame arresters, the air pathway of the hydrogen inhaler is divided by multiple isolation zones to prevent any unexpected explosion propagating from one zone to the other. An integrated filtering/cycling module is utilized to purify the impurity, and cool down the temperature of the electrolytic module to reduce the risk of the explosion. Moreover, a nebulizer is provided to selectively atomize the water into vapor which is then mixed with the filtered hydrogen-oxygen mix gas, such that the static electricity of a substance hardly occurs to reduce the risk of the explosion. Furthermore, hydrogen concentration detector is installed to reduce the risk of hydrogen leakage. Result shows that the hydrogen inhaler implementing the aforesaid design rules could effectively inhibit the explosion, even ignition at the outset of the hydrogen inhaler which outputs hydrogen-oxygen gas (approximately 66% hydrogen: 34% oxygen).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Hydrogen/administration & dosage , Nebulizers and Vaporizers , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy/methods , Oxygen/administration & dosage , Explosions/prevention & control , Humans , Nebulizers and Vaporizers/standards , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy/standards , Static Electricity/adverse effects , Volatilization
13.
Urologia ; 88(4): 386-388, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-947898

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Spontaneous rupture of kidney may involve collecting system or parenchyma. Parenchymal rupture usually occurs in patients with renal cell carcinoma, angiomyolipoma, renal cysts, arteriovenous malformation or vascular diseases such as periarteritis nodosa. Collecting system rupture is usually a rare complication of obstructive urolithiasis. We describe the unusual cases of spontaneous kidney rupture in patients with acute urinary obstruction. CASE PRESENTATION: The case report describes the left parenchymal kidney explosion related to ipsilateral ureteral obstruction caused by a single ureteral stone. The patient reached our emergency department with acute left flank pain and massive haematuria. At the moment of admission, the patient was in stage III hypovolemic shock and had a lower haematocrit (haemoglobin = 4.9 g/dL). Despite blood transfusions, emergency surgical exploration, extrafascial nephrectomy and intensive support care, the patient died twelve hours after surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Parenchymal renal rupture can be a life-threatening emergency. Despite its rarity, in the differential diagnosis of acute abdomen, parenchymal renal rupture should always be considered in patients with abdominal pain and an anamnesis or history of urinary stones, pointing out the need of early diagnosis also in benign urological conditions.


Subject(s)
Kidney Diseases , Ureteral Calculi , Ureteral Obstruction , Explosions , Humans , Kidney , Ureteral Calculi/complications , Ureteral Calculi/surgery , Ureteral Obstruction/etiology , Ureteral Obstruction/surgery
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