Onsite Medical Rounds and Fact-finding Activities Conducted by Nippon Medical School in Miyagi Prefecture after the Great East Japan Earthquake 2011
ABSTRACT This report describes our onsite medical rounds and fact-finding activities conducted in the acute phase and medical relief work conducted in the subacute phase in Miyagi prefecture following the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami that occurred off northeastern Honshu on March 11, 2011. As part of the All-Japan Hospital Association medical team deployed to the disaster area, a Nippon Medical School team conducted fact-finding and onsite medical rounds and evaluated basic life and medical needs in the affected areas of Shiogama and Tagajo. We performed triage for more than 2,000 casualties, but in our medical rounds of hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, we found no severely injured person but did find 1 case of hyperglycemia. We conducted medical rounds at evacuation shelters in Kesennuma City during the subacute phase of the disaster, from March 17 through June 1, as part of the Tokyo Medical Association medical teams deployed. Sixty-seven staff members (17 teams), including 46 physicians, 11 nurses, 3 pharmacists, and 1 clinical psychotherapist, joined this mission. Most patients complained of a worsening of symptoms of preexisting conditions, such as hypertension, respiratory problems, and diabetes, rather than of medical problems specifically related to the tsunami. In the acute phase of the disaster, the information infrastructure was decimated and we could not obtain enough information about conditions in the affected areas, such as how many persons were severely injured, how severely lifeline services had been damaged, and what was lacking. To start obtaining this information, we conducted medical rounds. This proved to be a good decision, as we found many injured persons in evacuation shelters without medication, communication devices, or transportation. Also, basic necessities for life, such as water and food, were lacking. We were able to evaluate these basic needs and inform local disaster headquarters of them. In Kesennuma City, we found that some evacuation shelters could not contact others even after 1 week after the earthquake. We realized from our experiences that, unlike our activities following more localized earthquake disasters, the first task following such large-scale disasters is to acquire information on basic life needs, including medication needs, and the number of persons requiring assistance. We must provide medical relief according to the unique characteristics of the disaster-affected areas as well as the specific nature of the disaster, in this case, a tsunami.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Atsuko Tsujii, Aug 18, 2014
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ABSTRACT: The present study examined actigraphically evaluated sleep on the days sur-rounding the greatest earthquake in Japanese history. The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred unexpectedly on the third day of a 1-week actigraphy measurement. The subjects were eight elderly (73.1 ± 4.3 years, mean ± SD) individuals living in Sendai city, one of the largest cities damaged by the earthquake. All of the subjects wore their actigraph devices until 2 days after the earthquake. The results showed that wake after sleep onset (WASO) was significantly increased (118 ± 29 min, mean ± SE) the first night after the earthquake compared with pre-earthquake values (35 ± 12 min). The subjects described being awoken by frequent aftershocks the first night. This sleep debt was recovered the next day through significant increases in daytime napping and the length of nocturnal sleep periods resulting from earlier bedtimes. An electrical blackout that lasted 2–3 days seemed to be associated with earlier bedtimes by inducing a dark and cold environment. One subject who evacuated to a school gymnasium after the earthquake suffered severely disturbed sleep due to cold temperatures (nocturnal WASO over 180 min). These findings suggest that the environmental factors related to disrupted infrastructure might have considerable impacts on sleep in the first several days after the catastrophic disaster. The findings should be considered for future disaster preparedness initiatives.Natural Hazards 01/2014; 72(2). DOI:10.1007/s11069-014-1048-0 · 1.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: AimAs healthcare professionals, nursing educators need to be prepared to manage and deliver care in what are often dangerous conditions. This research aims to determine and compare nursing educators' perceptions of disaster preparedness and response (DP&R) in Istanbul and Miyazaki.Methods An 18 question descriptive questionnaire was used.ResultsOne hundred and forty-four nursing educators representing two state university nursing schools in Istanbul, Turkey, and one state and two private universities in Miyazaki, Japan were enrolled. Educators had an average age of 40 years and had been educators for 1–15 years. Just over half of the participants had basic knowledge regarding DP&R with most of them considering taking special courses in the future. The majority considered “caregiver” as a role they could undertake in a disaster situation. The existence of major concerns and conflicts in disaster responses were low. The top ranked item was in the area of conflict between family and job responsibilities. Age and academic levels showed significant differences in basic knowledge on DP&R. Regardless of knowledge in this subject area, no statistical significance on personal preparedness or being a volunteer to disaster events was found.Conclusion Nursing educators were not thinking about what kinds of disasters occur in the areas where they currently teach and were underprepared to deal with disaster situations. To improve the perceptions of the nursing educators on DP&R, mass casualty care and disaster management skills need to be incorporated into formal education and training on disaster preparedness and workplace preparedness.Japan Journal of Nursing Science 08/2014; 12(2). DOI:10.1111/jjns.12054 · 0.49 Impact Factor