Regional Variation in Critical Care Evacuation Needs for Children After a Mass Casualty Incident

To determine the ability of five New York statewide regions to accommodate 30 children needing critical care after a hypothetical mass casualty incident (MCI) and the duration to complete an evacuation to facilities in other regions if the surge exceeded local capacity. A quantitative model evaluated pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) vacancies for MCI patients, …

The 2011 Tuscaloosa Tornado: Integration of Pediatric Disaster Services into Regional Systems of Care

Objective: To empirically describe the integration of pediatric disaster services into regional systems of care after the April 27, 2011, tornado in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a community with no pediatric emergency department or pediatric intensive care unit and few pediatric subspecialists. Study design: Data were obtained in interviews with key informants including professional staff and managers …

Emergency Response and Public Health in Hurricane Katrina: What Does it Mean to Be a Public Health Emergency Responder?

Since 9/11, federal funds directed toward public health departments for training in disaster preparedness have dramatically increased, resulting in changing expectations of public health workers’ roles in emergency response. This article explores the public health emergency responder role through data collected as part of an oral history conducted with the 3 health departments that responded …

Of peppers and preparedness

What can a chili pepper teach us about disaster preparedness? In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began issuing advisories about a foodborne salmonella outbreak that was detected in the United States. At the end of August, the agencies announced with little fanfare that the …

Lessons from Katrina – What Went Wrong, What Was Learned, Who’s Most Vulnerable

If humans did not occupy the planet, disasters would never occur. Massive climatic events, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis would be regular occurrences, of course, and the earth would look like a dynamic cauldron of natural activity, changing the look and the balance of nature and natural events continuously and randomly. What morphs these natural …

Interventions to Mitigate the Reduced Ability and Willingness to Work of Health Care Workers During a Pandemic Influenza Public Health Emergency

Several widely publicized articles were released in the past two years which suggest that health care and public health employees may be unable or unwilling to report to work during a public health emergency involving contagion or contamination such as pandemic influenza, SARS, smallpox, or a terrorist attack using disease or radiation: A 2006 study …

Children and Megadisasters: Lessons Learned in the New Millennium

Hurricane Katrina is America’s most recent encounter with a megadisaster. But what made it a megadisaster instead of just another category 3 hurricane of the type that seasonally exists in the Gulf of Mexico? Katrina was not the largest or strongest hurricane to strike the United States mainland in the recent past, but its effects …

Comfort level of emergency medical service providers in responding to weapons of mass destruction events: impact of training and equipment

Background: Numerous studies have suggested that emergency medical services (EMS) providers are ill-prepared in the areas of training and equipment for response to events due to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and other public health emergencies (epidemics, etc.). Methods: A nationally representative sample of basic and paramedic EMS providers in the United States was surveyed …

Comparison of Urban Transit Planning Responses to Pandemic Influenza

Pandemic influenza and other large scale communicable disease outbreaks pose a unique public safety concern in respect to transit and emergency planning. While local transit agencies, supported by federal funds, have identified disaster planning and response as critical to maintaining continuity of service and quality of life, most plans contend solely with event-based scenarios such …

Unanticipated Consequences of Pandemic Flu: Transportation Related Issues: A Preliminary Literature Review

Broadly speaking, plans for the containment and treatment of pandemic flu lead to a set of circumscribed outcomes, which include process outcomes (e.g., numbers of individuals vaccinated, numbers of health care workers vaccinated, numbers of intensive care beds opened up) as well as health outcomes (e.g., flu-related morbidity and mortality, transmission rates, and attack rates). …

Responding to an Emerging Humanitarian Crisis in Louisiana and Mississippi: Urgent Need for Health Care "Marshall Plan"

It is now clear that massive challenges are facing the recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast region ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as the flooding of New Orleans. Evacuees from the hardest hit communities who are currently in extended shelter status, particularly those with limited economic means, may already formally fall under …

Chronicles From Out-of-State Professionals: Providing Primary Care to Underserved Children After a Disaster: A National Organization Response

Hundreds of thousands of lives in the Gulf Coast region were affected by Hurricane Katrina. The Children’s Health Fund (CHF) responded rapidly to the needs of children and their families after the hurricane. CHF is a national organization that supports direct health services, education, and advocacy for medically underserved children. Although CHF’s principle mission is …

Accuracy of a Priority Medical Dispatch System in Dispatching Cardiac Emergencies in a Suburban Community

Introduction: Over-triage of patients by emergency medical services (EMS) dispatch is thought to be an acceptable alternative to under-triage, which may delay how quickly life-saving care reaches a patient. Previous studies have looked at advanced life support (ALS) misutilization in urban- and county-based EMS systems and have attempted to analyze how dispatch methods either contribute …

Uncommon Sense, Uncommon Courage: How the New York City School System, Its Teachers, Leadership and Students Responded to the Terror of September 11

Eight public schools are situated within a quarter mile of Ground Zero with 9,000 students ranging in ages from three to eighteen years – grammar, middle and high schools. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001 in the midst of chaos and a relentless unfolding of tragedy, professionals of the Board of Education safely evacuated all 9,000 …