Disaster Health Services

Disaster Health Services

In some countries, including the US (in part, anyway), disaster response preparedness is basically the same for any kind of event€¦earthquake, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes are all prepared for in the same all-hazards approach, based on the assumption that the basic response needs are almost the same regardless of the event type. But, when considering the health sector response, can this be true? Are the health consequences of earthquakes and floods the same? Do the consequences determine what kinds of responses are needed? With this in mind, please write about the health consequences of earthquakes. In doing so, try to use some of the thinking of epidemiologists, that is to say, think in terms of statistics. What percentage of patients are likely to have burn injuries, lacerations, or crush injuries? As you know, the response to these different kinds of injuries is different. Also, not all health consequences are based on injuries. Think also of infectious diseases, exposures to toxic substances and loss of access to healthy food and water. What about loss of housing? Loss of health care facilities and health care workers? Explore some of the peer reviewed literature on this topic, but also read about earthquakes in the Noji book.

€¢ William Johnson and Charles Lanza: After Hurricane Andrew. PDM, Vol 8, No. 2, pp 169-171. (On-line)
€¢ Zebrowski: Chapter 8: Deadly Winds, pp 229-251. (Textbook)
€¢ CDC background info at www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/infectiousdiseases.asp
€¢ www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm54d926a1.htm
€¢ Wilson JF: Health and the Environment after Hurricane Katrina. Annals of Internal Medicine, 17 Jan 2006, Vol. 144, No. 2, pp 153-156. (This document is available in the Course Documents folder in Blackboard).
€¢ Rudowitz R, Rowland D, Shartzer A: Health Care in New Orleans Before and After Katrina. Health Affairs, 29 Aug 2006, Vol 25, pp 393-406. (This document is available in the Course Documents folder).

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