Disaster-Related Injuries and Illnesses Treated by American Red Cross Disaster Health Services During Hurricanes Gustav and Ike
ABSTRACT To describe the injuries and illnesses treated by the American Red Cross (Red Cross) during Hurricanes Gustav and Ike disaster relief operations reported on a new Aggregate Morbidity Report Form.
From August 28 to October 18, 2008, 119 Red Cross field service locations in Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas addressed the healthcare needs of people affected by the hurricanes. From these locations, individual client visit data were retrospectively collated per site onto new 24-hour Aggregate Morbidity Report Forms.
A total of 3863 clients were treated. Of the clients, 48% were girls and women and 44% were boys and men; 61% were 19 to 64 years old. Ninety-eight percent of the visits occurred in shelters. The reasons for half of the visits were acute illness and symptoms (eg, pain) and 16% were for routine follow-up care. The majority (65%) of the 2516 visits required treatment at a field location, although 34%, or 1296 visits, required a referral, including 543 healthcare facility transfers.
During the hurricanes, a substantial number of displaced evacuees sought care for acute and routine healthcare needs. The capacity of the Red Cross to address the immediate and ongoing health needs of sheltered clients for an extended period of time is a critical resource for local public health agencies, which are often overwhelmed during a disaster. This article highlights the important role that this humanitarian organization fills, to decrease surge to local healthcare systems and to monitor health effects following a disaster. The Aggregate Morbidity Report Form has the potential to assist greatly in this role, and thus its utility for real-time reporting should be evaluated further.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this systematic literature review was to identify the extent and implications of medication loss and the burden of prescription refill on medical relief teams following extreme weather events and other natural hazards. The search strategy followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). Key health journal databases (Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, Maternity and Infant Care, and Health Management Information Consortium (HMIC)) were searched via the OvidSP search engine. Search terms were identified by consulting MeSH terms. The inclusion criteria comprised articles published from January 2003 to August 2013, written in English and containing an abstract. The exclusion criteria included abstracts for conferences or dissertations, book chapters and articles written in a language other than English. A total of 70 articles which fulfilled the inclusion criteria were included in this systematic review. All relevant information was collated regarding medication loss, prescription loss and refills, and medical aids loss which indicated a significant burden on the medical relief teams. Data also showed the difficulty in filling prescriptions due to lack of information from the evacuees. People with chronic conditions are most at risk when their medication is not available. This systematic review also showed that medical aids such as eye glasses, hearing aids as well as dental treatment are a high necessity among evacuees. This systematic review revealed that a considerable number of patients lose their medication during evacuation, many lose essential medical aids such as insulin pens and many do not bring prescriptions with them when evacuated.. Since medication loss is partly a responsibility of evacuees, understanding the impact of medication loss may lead to raising awareness and better preparations among the patients and health care professionals. People who are not prepared could have worse outcomes and many risk dying when their medication is not available.07/2014; 6. DOI:10.1371/currents.dis.fa417630b566a0c7dfdbf945910edd96