Navigation Links
Health care volunteers and disasters: First, be prepared
Date:2/24/2010

(PHILADELPHIA) A surge in volunteers following a major disaster can overwhelm a response system, and without overall coordination, can actually make a situation worse instead of better .The outpouring of medical volunteers who responded to the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti in January provides a roadmap for health care providers during future disasters, say the authors of a New England Journal of Medicine "Perspectives" piece that will be published online February 24. Thousands of doctors and nurses stepped up to help following the quake, but many were frustrated by difficulties connecting with a system that could immediately take advantage of their skills in the disaster zone. But lead author Raina Merchant, MD, an emergency physician and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, says that volunteers can enhance their effectiveness by preparing for a disaster before it occurs and thinking critically about their ability to respond.

Among Merchant and her colleagues' recommendations for health care workers who wish to volunteer during global disasters:

  • Seek formal training in disaster medicine to prepare for working with limited resources under hazardous conditions. Short courses are offered by the American Medical Association, the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and various surgical and trauma medical specialty associations.
  • Register with existing volunteer organizations, which often offer specialized training and advance verification of credentials and licensure to speed deployment to needy areas.
  • Have a clear understanding of what working in the disaster area will require, from working in severe temperatures with poor sanitation and risk of violent crime and exposure to infectious diseases. Underlying medical conditions and the emotional challenges of witnessing extreme pain and suffering of victims are also important considerations.
  • Seek counsel from travel medicine experts who can provide advice and access to immunizations, prophylactic medications, and education on protection from infections including HIV, tuberculosis, Hepatitis A and mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria and dengue.

The authors also urge volunteers to consider where in the disaster cycle early response, when the bulk of volunteers tend to come forward, or recovery and reconstruction their skills would be most appropriate, and to be mindful of the need to support relief efforts even after the world's attention has turned to other news. "Once immediate needs are addressed, the recovery phase begins, and there is often a prolonged delay before local health care systems can function even minimally," they write. "Health care volunteers are often less numerous during this time although the need for medical assistance remains vast."


'/>"/>

Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-200-2313
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. LodgeNet Healthcare Deploys Custom Education Solution for M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
2. NAE, IOM members to discuss engineering innovations in health care at Feb. 25 meeting
3. Dr. Alesia Wagner of U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group Re-elected to Board of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California
4. Taxing unhealthy foods may encourage healthier eating habits
5. Greenway Medical Technologies Featured in Health IT Innovators Book
6. Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. Executes Agreement to Acquire an Approximately 60,300 Square Foot Medical Office Building in Sugar Land, Texas
7. New Caucus to Address Growing Health Concern
8. Surgeon General with Microsoft HealthVault Expands Consumer Benefits for the My Family Health Portrait Offering
9. Princess Haya Calls for Action to Protect Health in the Developing World
10. Midlife crisis: Unmarried older women twice as likely to lack health insurance, study shows
11. Third of Young U.S. Adults Lack Health Insurance
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), ... will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual ... Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... LA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet ... in the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, ... occupy the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ... introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad ... comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in southern ... home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to create ... health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight years. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa ... contributed a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal ... the hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... Sept. 25, 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a leader ... and immune-engineering today announced the launch of EpiVax ... of personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has provided ... access to enabling technologies to the new precision ... lead EpiVax Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. Gad ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... 2017   ZirMed Inc ., a recognized leader in ... it has been ranked #1 by its users for the ... 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was recognized as the top-ranked end-to-end ... medical centers over 200 beds and holds one of the ... survey history. ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... Sept. 12, 2017  Consumer reviews on the independent review site ... the number one company for hearing aids, ranking it higher than ... brands. ... #1 by Consumers For Hearing Aids ... Hearing is an online store that provides high performance, state-of-the-art, German-engineered ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: