Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘EMS’ Category

EMS Mobile Integrated Health & Disasters

USFA

In many communities across the country, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) provide preventative health care to help reduce unnecessary and costly trips to the emergency room and ensuing hospital admissions. EMS operating in a Mobile Integrated Health (MIH) role help patients with chronic conditions in their homes, divert ambulance calls to outpatient providers, and in some communities, use telemedicine to connect their patients with physicians from their homes.

But what if a disaster should strike? How might MIH providers best assist in the response effort?

A recent study1 was the first to examine the work of MIH providers — Richland County (South Carolina) EMS — during an October 2015 response to severe flooding.wheelchair patients



Study findings

MIH providers were able to meet vulnerable patients’ health needs in severe flooding conditions by:

  1. Reconnecting individuals in emergency shelters with:
    • Lost medications.
    • Alternative housing or social services.
    • Transportation to relocate them with family outside of the affected area.
    • Other essential health care.
  2. Readily identifying to local authorities those patients who required in-person wellness checks.
  3. Delivering food and water to patients they knew were unable to leave their homes due to a disability.
  4. Providing uninterrupted power supply for home ventilators, left ventricular assist devices, and other medical equipment.

EMS physicians augmented MIH services during the flood response by performing telephone triage and self-care instruction to patients cut off from EMS. They responded to the field and provided consultation to MIH as needed.

Research takeaways for MIH providers

  • Include disaster response in the MIH training curriculum.
  • Help patients prepare for disasters by emphasizing the need for an evacuation plan and to safeguard adequate supplies of medications and durable medical equipment.
  • Identify ahead of time community members with complex medical needs, such as people who require access to uninterrupted power for life-sustaining medical equipment.

1Gainey C., Brown H., Gerard W. (2018). Utilization of Mobile Integrated Health Providers During a Flood Disaster in South Carolina. Prehospital and disaster medicine: 33(4), 432-435.

 


Italian avalanche: At least 10 people have been pulled out alive including a plucky 6-year-old who just wanted her favorite cookies. 

CBS

 


HiRO: Health Integrated Rescue Operations & Disaster Drones

NBC News

“….One HiRO (Health Integrated Rescue Operations) package is designed to provide help for a severely injured victim, another is intended for up to 100 people with significant to minor injuries……Drone experts from…Hinds Community College, with advice from the researchers, designed and built the disaster drones, which are equipped to fly in bad weather. “These drones have impressive lift and distance capability, and can carry a variety of sensors, including infrared devices, to help locate victims in the dark,” says Dennis Lott, director of Hinds CC’s unmanned aerial vehicle program.

Lott notes that any progress toward EMS response drone technology remains limited by Federal Aviation Administration ‘Part 107’ regulations that currently restrict most privately owned drones to a maximum weight of 55 pounds, an altitude ceiling of 400 feet, and line-of-sight operations, that is, within visible range………”


Futuristic: Drones in Disaster Response

Drones at Work

NBC News

“….A tourist bus has tipped over and slipped into a gully…….you call 911.

Soon….a flashing light appears overhead, accompanied by a buzzing sound. You look skyward ……an EMS response drone drops from the heavens deux ex machina. The 3-feet-tall, 6-feet-diameter octo-copter has been automatically guided to your location using your smartphone’s GPS coordinates.

It lands nearby, carrying a kit stuffed with meds, gauze and bandages, a chest seal, clotting sponges, scissors, and tourniquets. As you rummage through it, a video screen inside lights up and a face appears. “I’m an emergency care physician. I’m here to help.”….”


Wilson County, NC & Hurricane Matthew: The Aftermath

Image result for noaa hurricane matthew


By Olivia Neeley
The Wilson Daily Times

  • More than 530 Wilson County residents registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance after Hurricane Matthew
  • The 530-plus individuals FEMA assisted received more than $640,000 disbursement in funds countywide.
  • The 911 Communications Center received 2,500 calls for service over the three-day period during and after Hurricane Matthew.
  • There were roughly 230 water rescues performed during the height of the storm, most of which were vehicles rescues and getting people out of houses that were threatened by water.
  • Two people were also killed in Wilson County as a result of moving water in the roadways. Their vehicles were swept away.

 


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