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Health care institutions constantly must be prepared for disaster response. However, there are deficiencies in the current level of preparedness. The aim of this study was to investigate the factors affecting the perception of health care workers (HCWs) towards individual and institutional preparedness for a disaster.
A survey on disaster incident preparedness was conducted among doctors, nurses, and allied health workers over a period of two months in 2010. The survey investigated perceptions of disaster preparedness at the individual and institutional level. Responses were measured using a five-point Likert scale. The primary outcomes were factors affecting HCWs’ perception of institution and individual preparedness. Secondary outcomes were the proportions of staff willing to participate and to place importance on disaster response training and their knowledge of access to such training. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Logistic regression was performed to determine the factors that influenced the HCWs’ perception of their individual and institutional readiness. Odd ratios (ORs) of such factors were reported with their 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Of 1700 HCWs, 1534 (90.2%) completed the survey. 75.3% (1155/1534) felt that the institution was ready for a disaster incident, but only 36.4% (558/1534) felt that they (as individuals) were prepared. Some important factors associated with a positive perception of institution preparedness were leadership preparedness (OR = 13.19; 95% CI, 9.93-17.51), peer preparedness (OR = 6.11; 95% CI, 4.27-8.73) and availability of training opportunities (OR = 4.76; 95% CI, 3.65-6.22). Some important factors associated with a positive perception of individual preparedness were prior experience in disaster response (OR = 2.80; 95% CI, 1.99-3.93), institution preparedness (OR = 3.71; 95% CI, 2.68-5.14), peer preparedness (OR = 3.49; 95% CI, 2.75-4.26), previous training in disaster response (OR = 3.48; 95% CI, 2.76-4.39) and family support (OR = 3.22; 95% CI, 2.54-4.07). Most (80.7%, 1238/1534) were willing to participate in future disaster incident response training, while 74.5% (1143/1534) felt that being able to respond to a disaster incident constitutes part of their professional competency. However, only 27.8% (426/1534) knew how to access these training opportunities.
This study demonstrated that HCWs fare poorly in their perception of their individual preparedness. Important factors that might contribute to improving this perception at the individual and institution level have been identified. These factors could guide the review and implementation of future disaster incident response training in health care institutions.
LimGH, LimBL, VasuA. Survey of Factors Affecting Health Care Workers’ Perception Towards Institutional and Individual Disaster Preparedness. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(4):1-6.
To evaluate characteristics and outcome of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED), and to examine factors that could be used to determine to prolong or abort resuscitation for these patients.
All OHCA patients presenting to the ED were studied over a three-month period from November 2001 through January 2002. Patient with traumatic cardiac arrest were excluded. Data were collected from the ambulance case records, ED resuscitation charts, and the ED Very High Frequency (VHF) radio case-log sheet. Information collected included the patient's demographic characteristics, timings (time from call to ambulance arrival on scene, time from arrival at scene to departure from scene, time from scene to arrival in the ED) recorded in the pre-hospital setting, the outcome of the resuscitation, and the final outcome for patients who survived ED resuscitation.
Ninety-three non-traumatic patients with an OHCA were studied during the three-month period. Of the 93 patients, 15 (16.1%) survived ED resuscitation, and one survived to hospital discharge. There were no statistically significant differences for age, race, or gender with regards to the outcome of the resuscitation. The initial cardiac rhythms were asystole (65), pulseless electrical activity (21), and ventricular fibrillation (7). Fourteen (15%) received bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). All seven patients with return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) on arrival in the ED survived ED resuscitation. The ambulance took an average of 11.80 ±3.36 minutes for the survivors and 11.8 ±4.22 minutes for the non-survivors from the time of call to get to these patients. The average of the scene times was 12.5 ±4.61 minutes for the survivors and 12.0 ±4.02 minutes for the non-survivors. Transport time from the scene to the ED took an average of 39.1 ±8.32 minutes for the survivors and 37.2 ±9.00 minutes for the non-survivors.
The survival rate for patients with OHCA after ED resuscitation is similar to the results from other studies. There is a need to increase the awareness and delivery of basic life support by public education. Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) should be available widely to ensure that the chance of early defibrillation is increased. Prolonged resuscitation efforts appear to be futile for OHCA patients if the time from cardiac arrest until arrival in the ED is ≥30 minutes coupled with no ROSC, and if continuous asystole has been documented for >10 minutes.