Start at the beginning ... or even earlier. The process for handling potential mass-casualty incidents - particularly when biological hazards are involved - is critical when lowering exposure risk and abating the spread of a toxic agent: Develop comprehensive response plans as far in advance as possible, gather the supplies likely to be needed, and keep a constant track, in real time, of what has happened and is happening every step of the way.
To plan for and defeat the frequently changing threats posed by pandemics (both natural and terrorist-related) requires advance planning, comprehensive training, and stockpiling mountains of supplies, including medications needed to protect literally millions of citizens. But these efforts involve numerous complexities.
A distinguished DomPrep40 Advisor presents his exclusive insider's report on a "Summit Meeting" held in California earlier this month during which the nation's current Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) guidelines were discussed, debated, and dissected in minute detail. New policies that will develop as a result may well affect the health and well-being of all Americans for many years to come.
Lee caused less damage and fewer fatalities, but vigorously reinforced the lethal lessons learned from Irene less than two months ago - namely, that: (a) There is absolutely no substitute for advance planning; (b) Planning must be as totally comprehensive, in every way, as is humanly possible; and (c) That saving of human lives must be at the very top of the priority list.
The latest Steven Soderbergh film tells a compelling story about a pandemic that spreads disease and fear around the world. The 2003 SARS epidemic demonstrates that the potential danger of such an outbreak is real, but how real is the public health response? When Hollywood takes on an actual public health concern, it is important to separate viable information from pure entertainment. After all, "nothing spreads like fear."
When a mass-casualty CBRN incident occurs, U.S. hospitals can effectively respond only by having on hand, in advance, ample supplies of medicines, PPE gear, and a broad spectrum of other material systems and resources. But the nurses, doctors, EMS technicians, and other responders must also be prepared - in advance. The lessons learned from previous incidents suggest that that may not always be possible.
Silent, odor-free, invisible, and deadly: The radiation left by a dirty bomb, hazmat spill, or laboratory accident is usually difficult to detect and represents a "double danger" not only to those already on the scene of a potential mass-casualty incident but also to the EMTs and first responders seeking to save others - often at the risk of their own lives.
Thanks at least partially to the "do no harm" precept mandated in the Hippocratic Oath, the practice of medicine has for centuries been built on a firm foundation of acceptable ethics. Which is why some highly respected medical experts are now raising questions about current U.S. policies governing the proper approach to dealing with new anthrax attacks in the post-9/11 era.
A career professional who lost many co-workers, and personal friends, on that second date "that will live in infamy" recalls the horror, the pain, the suffering, and the personal anguish. Then he immediately goes back to work and offers a few cogent suggestions on the best way to "continue the fight" in honor of the many innocent victims who died on 9/11.
Until the atomic bomb came along, the Plague that devastated Europe in the Middle Ages and the Spanish Flu of 1918-1920 were the most lethal weapons of mass destruction the world had ever seen. Those same diseases, and many others, are still a major threat to the future of mankind. Today, fortunately, much more is known about them - but prevention is still the best medicine.