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Prehosp Disaster Med [journal]
- Portable Suction Unit Failure in a Rural EMS System. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Prehosp Disaster Med 2013 Apr 18.:1-3.
Introduction Portable suction units used by EMS personnel are utilized infrequently and often are powered by batteries. Lack of use and inspection often results in failure of the device when it is needed. The purpose of this study was to examine the incidence of portable suction unit failure in a rural EMS system and to identify the reasons for failures.
METHODS:A convenience sample was obtained through both random inspections by the staff of a regional EMS council and data from twice monthly checks reported by respective EMS agencies following a standard protocol for each unit. A standard protocol was used, including checking the vacuum level on each suction unit and inspecting the tubing, canister, and battery. Each inspector assessed whether the unit was capable of achieving 300 mmHg of suction within four seconds. Also, the unit was inspected for any signs of misalignment or dry rot of the gasket, kinking of suction hose, damage to the suction canister, weak/dead battery, or defective pump. Findings were recorded.
RESULTS:Over a two-year period, 9,631 suction unit inspections were completed. There were 233 failures (2.4%) noted. The majority (126, 54.1%) were due to battery failure. Seventy-three units failed due to other reasons (not recorded, switch failure, battery not seated). Ten inspections failed due to incorrect assembly. Nineteen inspections failed due to defects with the suction canister. Five inspections failed due to kinked/disconnected suction tubing.
CONCLUSION:Only a relatively small percentage of inspections of suction units revealed failures (4.6% Advanced Life Support, 8.6% Basic Life Support) using the above-stated criteria. However, given the importance of airway management and potential complications associated with airway compromise, including aspiration pneumonia, hypoxia, and hemodynamic instability, this is of concern relative to the morbidity and mortality that could be related to airway failure. Due to the relative infrequency of use and the nature of portable suction units, the potential for lack of maintenance and deficiencies in routine inspection may impact the functional status of these devices in EMS agencies. Clearly, improved documentation of battery installation date, charging in accordance with manufacturer recommendations, and thorough inspection of the portable suction unit in its entirety will ensure readiness of these devices. Additionally, more rigorous documentation and analysis of inspections should be a focus of EMS agencies. Risavi BL , Sabotchick KJ , Heile CJ . Portable suction unit failure in a rural EMS system. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(4):1-3 .
- Author reply. [Comment, Letter]
- Prehosp Disaster Med 2013 Feb; 28(1):80-1.
- Pandering to Ignorance on Climate Change: Lessons from an Investment Strategist. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Prehosp Disaster Med 2013 Apr 10.:1-2.
An investment strategist recently published, in the journal Nature, an impassioned plea to all scientists that they must begin to speak out on the resource crisis exacerbated by global warming. In this Editorial response, the author reminds health professionals that they can no longer stay silent and pander to the ignorance of others, and challenges them, along with multidisciplinary partners and stakeholders, to define a strong collaborative and cooperative stance on climate change. Burkle FM Jr. Pandering to ignorance on climate change: lessons from an investment strategist. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(4):1-2 .
- Incorporating the Lessons Learned from the 2012 East Azerbaijan Earthquakes in Iran's National Health Emergency Plan. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Prehosp Disaster Med 2013 Apr 8.:1.
- A Consensus Process on the Use of Exercises and After Action Reports to Assess and Improve Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Prehosp Disaster Med 2013 Mar 28.:1-3.
Introduction The objective of disaster preparedness is to ensure that appropriate systems, procedures, and resources are in place to provide prompt, effective assistance to disaster victims, thus facilitating relief measures and rehabilitation of services. Disaster preparedness efforts include the identification of possible health scenarios based on the probability of hazards and vulnerability of the population as a basis for creating a disaster plan. Exercises that simulate emergency response, involving the health and other sectors, have been suggested as useful tools to test the plans on a regular basis and measure preparedness efforts; the absence of actual testing is likely to negate even the best of abstract plans. Problem Exercises and after action reports (AARs) are used to document preparedness activities. However, to date, limited analysis has been performed on what makes an exercise an effective tool to assess public health emergency preparedness (PHEP), and how AARs can be developed and used to support PHEP improvement efforts. The scope of this project was to achieve consensus on: (1) what makes an exercise an effective tool to assess PHEP; and (2) what makes an AAR an effective tool to guide PHEP improvement efforts.
METHODS:Sixty-one PHEP experts were convened by the use of Nominal Group Techniques to achieve consensus on a series of characteristics that exercises should have when designed to assess PHEP and on the recommendations for developing high-quality AARs.
RESULTS:The panelists achieved consensus on a list of recommendations to improve the use of exercises and AARs in PHEP improvement efforts. Such recommendations ranged from the characteristics of the exercise audience to the evaluation methodology being used and the characteristics of the produced AAR such as its structure and content.
CONCLUSIONS:The characteristics of the exercise audience, scenario and scope are among the most important attributes to the effectiveness of an exercise conducted for PHEP evaluation purposes. The evaluation instruments used to gather observations need an appropriate matching between exercise objectives and the response capabilities tested during the exercise, to build the base for the production of a good AAR. Improvements in the design and creation of exercises and AARs could facilitate better reporting and measurement of preparedness outcomes. Savoia E , Preston J , Biddinger PD . A consensus process on the use of exercises and after action reports to assess and improve public health emergency preparedness and response. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(3):1-4 .
- Serving Limited English Proficient Callers: A Survey of 9-1-1 Police Telecommunicators. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Prehosp Disaster Med 2013 Mar 28.:1-6.
Introduction The emergency telephone number 9-1-1 serves as a lifeline to the public during emergencies, and first responders rely on information gathered by 9-1-1 telecommunicators who speak with callers. Timely, accurate information from the telecommunicators is essential for providing appropriate care on scene. Language barriers can hamper these efforts and result in less efficient information exchange. Although 9-1-1 telecommunicators may access over-the-phone interpreter (OPI) services to facilitate communication, managing three-way communication during an emergency is challenging. Problem There is little published on the relationship between limited English proficient (LEP) callers and 9-1-1 police telecommunicators, and the role of OPI services during these calls. Further, little is known about effective strategies to manage such calls.
METHODS:In King County, Washington, 9-1-1 police telecommunicators were surveyed about their experiences handling LEP calls and managing three-way communication with OPI services. The survey contained 13 multiple-choice and three open-response questions addressing communication strategies, challenges with LEP callers, and three-way communication with OPI services. Goodman-Kruskal Gamma and chi-square tests were conducted with OPI use as the dependent variable. Additional analyses were conducted using stress levels as the dependent variable.
RESULTS:Of 123 respondents, 69 (56.5%) 9-1-1 telecommunicators reported utilizing OPI services at least 75% of the time when receiving a call from an LEP caller. Further, 35 (28.7%) of these telecommunicators reported calls with LEP individuals as more stressful than calls with fluent English speakers. Dispatcher stress level during LEP calls compared with stress during calls with fluent English speakers was positively associated with use of OPI services (P < .01). Further, stress level was also positively associated with telecommunicator difficulties in assessing the situation with respect to officer safety (P < .01). Sixty-three (58.3%) of the telecommunicators described difficulties assessing the situation to determine the appropriate response as the biggest challenge with LEP callers. Additionally, 62 (53%) identified knowing their location in English as information LEP callers need to know prior to calling 9-1-1.
CONCLUSION:These results highlight intervention opportunities for both 9-1-1 telecommunicators and LEP communities. Together, interventions such as working with LEP communities to educate them on best communication practices during 9-1-1 calls, and with 9-1-1 telecommunicators to help them manage three-way communication and reduce stress associated with concern for officer safety may improve emergency communication during 9-1-1 calls. Carroll LN , Calhoun RE , Subido CC , Painter IS , Meischke HW . Serving limited English proficient callers: a survey of 9-1-1 police telecommunicators. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(3):1-6 .
- Preparedness for and Impact of Tropical Cyclone Yasi in North Queensland, Australia. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Prehosp Disaster Med 2013 Mar 27.:1-7.
Introduction Tropical cyclone (TC) Yasi, thought to be the largest and most severe cyclone to cross the Queensland coast since 1918, made landfall on the southern tropical coast near Mission Beach and continued to track westward across Northern Queensland on February 3, 2011. The warning and response model (WRM) suggests that situational factors, personal characteristics, and social contextual variables influence the degree of threat perceived and protective actions taken. Aim The aim of this study was to examine preparation for this impending natural disaster by residents of the affected regions, and to identify the residents' resource losses and symptoms of psychological distress following TC Yasi.
METHODS:A cross-sectional survey was conducted 6-12 months after the cyclone using an adapted tool designed to measure preparedness, loss and psychosocial distress. Four hundred and thirty-three responses were received. Statistical analysis was conducted using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Categorical characteristics were described using sample size and percentages.
RESULTS:Almost all respondents perceived the cyclone warning as serious or very serious, and more than a third started preparing for the cyclone at least three days before it reached landfall. Overall, 115 (26.7%) respondents reported moderate and 59 (13.7%) reported major property damage; 72 (17.1%) reported a moderate and 49 (11.6%) reported a major change in their feeling of whether they have control over their life; 55 (13.1%) reported a major change in their motivation of getting things done; and 33 (7.9%) reported a major change in their perception of feeling valuable to others. Overall, 142 (34.1%) documented at least one of five symptoms of acute distress.
CONCLUSION:The findings document the experiences of Australians who have lived through tropical cyclone Yasi. The results support the WRM theory which proposes that people with previous experience take threatened disasters seriously. Usher K , Buettner P , West C , Millis J , Woods C , Mason M , Boon H , Chamberlain-Salaun J . Preparedness for and impact of tropical cyclone Yasi in North Queensland, Australia. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(3):1-7 .
- Impact of the Christchurch Earthquakes on Hospital Staff. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Prehosp Disaster Med 2013 Mar 26.:1-6.
Introduction On September 4, 2010 a major earthquake caused widespread damage, but no loss of life, to Christchurch city and surrounding areas. There were numerous aftershocks, including on February 22, 2011 which, in contrast, caused substantial loss of life and major damage to the city. The research aim was to assess how these two earthquakes affected the staff in the General Medicine Department at Christchurch Hospital. Problem To date there have been no published data assessing the impact of this type of natural disaster on hospital staff in Australasia.
METHODS:A questionnaire that examined seven domains (demographics, personal impact, psychological impact, emotional impact, impact on care for patients, work impact, and coping strategies) was handed out to General Medicine staff and students nine days after the September 2010 earthquake and 14 days after the February 2011 earthquake.
RESULTS:Response rates were ≥ 99%. Sixty percent of responders were <30 years of age, and approximately 60% were female. Families of eight percent and 35% had to move to another place due to the September and February earthquakes, respectively. A fifth to a third of people had to find an alternative route of transport to get to work but only eight percent to 18% took time off work. Financial impact was more severe following the February earthquake, with 46% reporting damage of >NZ $1,000, compared with 15% following the September earthquake (P < .001). Significantly more people felt upset about the situation following the February earthquake than the September earthquake (42% vs 69%, P < .001). Almost a quarter thought that quality of patient care was affected in some way following the September earthquake but this rose to 53% after the February earthquake (12/53 vs 45/85, P < .001). Half believed that discharges were delayed following the September earthquake but this dropped significantly to 15% following the February earthquake (27/53 vs 13/62, P < .001).
CONCLUSION:This survey provides a measure of the result of two major but contrasting Christchurch earthquakes upon General Medicine hospital staff. The effect was widespread with minor financial impact during the first but much more during the second earthquake. Moderate psychological impact was experienced in both earthquakes. This data may be useful to help prepare plans for future natural disasters. Tovaranonte P, Cawood TJ. Impact of the Christchurch earthquakes on hospital staff. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(3):-.
- Effect of Spinal Immobilization on Heart Rate, Blood Pressure and Respiratory Rate. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Prehosp Disaster Med 2013 Mar 25.:1-5.
Introduction Vital signs remain important clinical indicators in the management of trauma. Tissue injury and ischemia cause tachycardia and hypertension, which are mediated via the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Spinal immobilization is known to cause discomfort, and it is not known how this might influence the SNS and contribute to abnormal vital signs. Hypothesis This study aimed to establish whether the pain and discomfort associated with spinal immobilization and the maneuvers commonly used in injured patients (eg, log roll) affect the Heart rate (HR), Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) and Respiratory rate (RR). The null hypothesis was that there are no effects.
METHODS:A prospective, unblinded, repeated-measure study of 53 healthy subjects was used to test the null hypothesis. Heart rate, BP and RR were measured at rest (five minutes), after spinal immobilization (10 minutes), following log roll, with partial immobilization (10 minutes) and again at rest (five minutes). A visual analog scale (VAS) for both pain and discomfort were also collected at each stage. Results were statistically compared.
RESULTS:Pain VAS increased significantly during spinal immobilization (3.8 mm, P < .01). Discomfort VAS increased significantly during spinal immobilization, after log roll and during partial immobilization (17.7 mm, 5.8 mm and 8.9 mm, respectively; P < .001). Vital signs however, showed no clinically relevant changes. Discussion Spinal immobilization does not cause a change in vital signs despite a significant increase in pain and discomfort. Since no relationship appears to exist between immobilization and abnormal vital signs, abnormal vital signs in a clinical situation should not be considered to be the result of immobilization. Likewise, pain and discomfort in immobilized patients should not be disregarded due to lack of changes in vital signs. Bruijns S , Guly H , Wallis L . Effect of spinal immobilization on heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(2):1-5 .
- Recent Twin Earthquakes in Iran: Was Volunteer Assistance Effective? [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Prehosp Disaster Med 2013 Mar 21.:1.