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Antibiotic prescribing practices across the Veterans’ Health Administration (VA) experienced significant shifts during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. From 2015 to 2019, antibiotic use between January and May decreased from 638 to 602 days of therapy (DOT) per 1,000 days present (DP), while the corresponding months in 2020 saw antibiotic utilization rise to 628 DOT per 1,000 DP.
The aim of this study was to shed light on damage to water supply facilities and the state of water resource operation at disaster base hospitals in Miyagi Prefecture (Japan) in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake (2011), in order to identify issues concerning the operational continuity of hospitals in the event of a disaster.
In addition to interview and written questionnaire surveys to 14 disaster base hospitals in Miyagi Prefecture, a number of key elements relating to the damage done to water supply facilities and the operation of water resources were identified from the chronological record of events following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Nine of the 14 hospitals experienced cuts to their water supplies, with a median value of three days (range = one to 20 days) for service recovery time. The hospitals that could utilize well water during the time that water supply was interrupted were able to obtain water in quantities similar to their normal volumes. Hospitals that could not use well water during the period of interruption, and hospitals whose water supply facilities were damaged, experienced significant disruption to dialysis, sterilization equipment, meal services, sanitation, and outpatient care services, though the extent of disruption varied considerably among hospitals. None of the hospitals had determined the amount of water used for different purposes during normal service or formulated a plan for allocation of limited water in the event of a disaster.
The present survey showed that it is possible to minimize the disruption and reduction of hospital functions in the event of a disaster by proper maintenance of water supply facilities and by ensuring alternative water resources, such as well water. It is also clear that it is desirable to conclude water supply agreements and formulate strategic water allocation plans in preparation for the eventuality of a long-term interruption to water services.
MatsumuraT, OsakiS, KudoD, FurukawaH, NakagawaA, AbeY, YamanouchiS, EgawaS, TominagaT, KushimotoS. Water Supply Facility Damage and Water Resource Operation at Disaster Base Hospitals in Miyagi Prefecture in the Wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(2):1-5.
This study aimed to clarify the management of emergency electric power and the operation of radiology diagnostic devices after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Timing of electricity restoration, actual emergency electric power generation, and whether radiology diagnostic devices were operational and the reason if not were investigated through a questionnaire submitted to all 14 disaster base hospitals in Miyagi Prefecture in February and March 2013.
Commercial electricity supply resumed within 3 days after the earthquake at 13 of 14 hospitals. Actual emergency electric power generation was lower than pre-disaster estimates at most of the hospitals. Only 4 of 11 hospitals were able to generate 60% of the power normally consumed. Under emergency electric power, conventional X-ray and computed tomography (CT) scanners worked in 9 of 14 (64%) and 8 of 14 (57%) hospitals, respectively. The main reason conventional X-ray and CT scanners did not operate was that hospitals had not planned to use these devices under emergency electric power. Only 2 of the 14 hospitals had a pre-disaster plan to allocate emergency electric power, and all devices operated at these 2 hospitals.
Pre-disaster plans to allocate emergency electric power are required for disaster base hospitals to effectively operate radiology diagnostic devices after a disaster. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2014;8:548-552)
A survey was conducted to describe the characteristics of patients treated for hypothermia after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Written questionnaires were distributed to 72 emergency medical hospitals in Miyagi Prefecture. Data were requested regarding inpatients with a temperature less than 36ºC admitted within 72 hours after the earthquake. The availability of functional heating systems and the time required to restore heating after the earthquake were also documented.
A total of 91 inpatients from 13 hospitals were identified. Tsunami victims comprised 73% of the patients with hypothermia. Within 24 hours of the earthquake, 66 patients were admitted. Most patients with a temperature of 32ºC or higher were treated with passive external rewarming with blankets. Discharge without sequelae was reported for 83.3% of patients admitted within 24 hours of the earthquake and 44.0% of those admitted from 24 to 72 hours after the earthquake. Heating systems were restored within 3 days of the earthquake at 43% of the hospitals.
Hypothermia in patients hospitalized within 72 hours of the earthquake was primarily due to cold-water exposure during the tsunami. Many patients were successfully treated in spite of the post-earthquake disruption of regional social infrastructure.(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2014;0:1-11)
Telecommunication systems are important for sharing information among health institutions to successfully provide medical response following disasters.
The aim of this study was to clarify the problems associated with telecommunication systems in the acute phase of the Great East Japan Earthquake (March 11, 2011).
All 72 of the secondary and tertiary emergency hospitals in Miyagi Prefecture were surveyed to evaluate the telecommunication systems in use during the 2011 Great Japan Earthquake, including satellite mobile phones, multi-channel access (MCA) wireless systems, mobile phones, Personal Handy-phone Systems (PHS), fixed-line phones, and the Internet. Hospitals were asked whether the telecommunication systems functioned correctly during the first four days after the earthquake, and, if not, to identify the cause of the malfunction. Each telecommunication system was considered to function correctly if the hospital staff could communicate at least once in every three calls.
Valid responses were received from 53 hospitals (73.6%). Satellite mobile phones functioned correctly at the highest proportion of the equipped hospitals, 71.4%, even on Day 0. The MCA wireless system functioned correctly at the second highest proportion of the equipped hospitals. The systems functioned correctly at 72.0% on Day 0 and at 64.0% during Day 1 through Day 3. The main cause of malfunction of the MCA wireless systems was damage to the base station or communication lines (66.7%). Ordinary (personal or general communication systems) mobile phones did not function correctly at any hospital until Day 2, and PHS, fixed-line phones, and the Internet did not function correctly at any area hospitals that were severely damaged by the tsunami. Even in mildly damaged areas, these systems functioned correctly at <40% of the hospitals during the first three days. The main causes of malfunction were a lack of electricity (mobile phones, 25.6%; the Internet, 54.8%) and damage to the base stations or communication lines (the Internet, 38.1%; mobile phones, 56.4%).
Results suggest that satellite mobile phones and MCA wireless systems are relatively reliable and ordinary systems are less reliable in the acute period of a major disaster. It is important to distribute reliable disaster communication equipment to hospitals and plan for situations in which hospital telecommunications systems do not function.
KudoD, FurukawaH, NakagawaA, AbeY, WashioT, ArafuneT, SatoD, YamanouchiS, OchiS, TominagaT, KushimotoS. Reliability of Telecommunications Systems Following a Major Disaster: Survey of Secondary and Tertiary Emergency Institutions in Miyagi Prefecture During the Acute Phase of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014;29(1):1-5.
To clarify advance measures for business continuity taken by disaster base hospitals involved in the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The predisaster situation regarding stockpiles was abstracted from a 2010 survey. Timing of electricity and water restoration and sufficiency of supplies to continue operations were investigated through materials from Miyagi Prefecture disaster medicine headquarters (prefectural medical headquarters) and disaster base hospitals (14 hospitals) in Miyagi Prefecture after the East Japan earthquake.
The number of hospitals with less than 1 day of stockpiles in reserve before the disaster was 7 (50%) for electricity supplies, 8 (57.1%) for water, 6 (42.9%) for medical goods, and 6 (42.9%) for food. After the disaster, restoration of electricity and water did not occur until the second day or later at 8 of 13 (61.5%) hospitals, respectively. By the fourth postdisaster day, 14 hospitals had requested supplies from the prefectural medical headquarters: 9 (64.3%) for electricity supplies, 2 (14.3%) for water trucks, 9 (64.3%) for medical goods, and 6 (42.9%) for food.
The lack of supplies needed to continue operations in disaster base hospitals following the disaster clearly indicated that current business continuity plans require revision. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2013;0:1-6)
The anisotropically biaxial strain in a-plane AlGaN on GaN is investigated by X-ray diffraction analysis of the heterostructure of AlGaN and GaN grown on r-plane sapphire. The AlGaN layer with a low AlN molar fraction or small thickness is coherently grown on the GaN layer both along the m-axis and c-axis. An increase in AlN molar fraction or thickness in AlGaN, results in a slight relaxation of AlGaN only in one direction due to tensile stress along the c-axis, which is caused by the underlying GaN layer during the growth. The cause of the relaxation of AlGaN in one direction is thought to be a large anisotropically biaxial stress.
The surface passivation of GaAs power FET has been investigated. Intermodulation distortion of GaAs power FET was found to be affected by frequency dispersion which originates from electron trap at the surface in the vicinity of the gate. There are two ways to suppress the frequency dispersion. One is reducing electron trap itself by using surface passivation, the other is making surface insensitive to the surface trapping effect. We found the FET with undoped InGaP layers on the n-GaAs channel is free from surface trapping effects. The undoped InGaP layer acts as an ideal passivation layer for the channel, since it shows only 2% frequency dispersion of drain current at 1MHz compared to DC condition.
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