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Preschool psychiatric symptoms significantly increase the risk for long-term negative outcomes. Transdiagnostic hierarchical approaches that capture general (‘p’) and specific psychopathology dimensions are promising for understanding risk and predicting outcomes, but their predictive utility in young children is not well established. We delineated a hierarchical structure of preschool psychopathology dimensions and tested their ability to predict psychiatric disorders and functional impairment in preadolescence.
Data for 1253 preschool children (mean age = 4.17, s.d. = 0.81) were drawn from three longitudinal studies using a similar methodology (one community sample, two psychopathology-enriched samples) and followed up into preadolescence, yielding a large and diverse sample. Exploratory factor models derived a hierarchical structure of general and specific factors using symptoms from the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment interview. Longitudinal analyses examined the prospective associations of preschool p and specific factors with preadolescent psychiatric disorders and functional impairment.
A hierarchical dimensional structure with a p factor at the top and up to six specific factors (distress, fear, separation anxiety, social anxiety, inattention-hyperactivity, oppositionality) emerged at preschool age. The p factor predicted all preadolescent disorders (ΔR2 = 0.04–0.15) and functional impairment (ΔR2 = 0.01–0.07) to a significantly greater extent than preschool psychiatric diagnoses and functioning. Specific dimensions provided additional predictive power for the majority of preadolescent outcomes (disorders: ΔR2 = 0.06–0.15; functional impairment: ΔR2 = 0.05–0.12).
Both general and specific dimensions of preschool psychopathology are useful for predicting clinical and functional outcomes almost a decade later. These findings highlight the value of transdiagnostic dimensions for predicting prognosis and as potential targets for early intervention and prevention.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southeast Texas in August 2017, causing unprecedented flooding throughout the Texas coastal region. Residents of affected regions were forced to evacuate to nearby unaffected areas, including Dallas, TX, where a large shelter operation was opened for 23 days to care for those evacuees. Retrospective evaluation of pharmaceutical prescribing patterns for the evacuees who self-presented to the Megashelter Medical Clinic (MMC) established in the shelter contributes to developing evidence-based planning strategies for healthcare delivery in the post-disaster setting.
To describe the pharmacy needs of a displaced population following a large-scale evacuation after a hurricane
De-identified prescription records written and filled at a shelter pharmacy were reviewed, looking at both cost and category of medications dispensed over time.
Approximately 41% of evacuees with a total of 2,654 visits utilized the MMC clinic, resulting in 1,590 prescriptions filled with an associated cost of $78,039. The most commonly prescribed drug categories were cardiovascular (21.2%), neuropsychotropic (15.6%), infectious disease (12.5%), and endocrine (9.6%). While the most commonly dispensed were antihypertensives, diabetes treatment-related prescriptions, antibacterials, antidepressants, and NSAIDs, the costliest individual prescriptions were antiretrovirals and antipsychotics.
Prescribing patterns for the MMC differed from normal prescribing patterns of a general population. Of the prescriptions dispensed at the MMC, pharmaceutical prescription patterns suggest the immediate needs of evacuees differ from later needs. There is a greater need for chronic disease management in the early phase of shelter operations, and an increasing need for neuropsychotropic and infectious disease prescriptions over time. Understanding overall patterns of drug utilization over the duration of the shelter provides valuable insight on post-disaster medical resource utilization in evacuee populations.
After Hurricane Harvey and the flooding that ensued, 3,829 displaced persons were transported from their homes and sheltered in the Dallas Convention Center. This large general population sheltering operation was medically supported by the onsite Mega-Shelter Medical Clinic (MMC). In an altered standard of care environment, a number of multi-disciplinary medical services were provided including emergent management, acute pediatric and adult care, psychiatric/behavioral services, onsite pharmaceutical, and durable medical equipment distribution, epidemiologic surveillance, and select laboratory services.
To describe how onsite medical care in the adapted environment of a large population shelter can provide comparable services and limit the direct impact on the local medical community.
A retrospective chart review of medical records was generated for all clinical encounters at the MMC. Data were sorted by daily census, disease surveillance, medical decision making, treatment, and transport destinations.
40.7% of registered evacuees utilized the MMC accounting for a total of 2,654 clinic visits by 1,560 unique patients representing all age groups. During the sustained MMC operations, 8% of patients required emergency transport and 500 additional patient transports were arranged for clinic appointments. No deaths occurred and no iatrogenic morbidity was reported.
Medical care was provided for a large number of evacuees which mitigated the potential impact on the local medical infrastructure. The provision of medical services in a large population shelter may necessitate adaptation to the standard of care. However, despite the nontraditional clinical setting, care delivery was not compromised.
Ultrasound applications are widespread, and their utility in resource-limited environments are numerous. In disasters, the use of ultrasound can help reallocate resources by guiding decisions on management and transportation priorities. These interventions can occur on-scene, at triage collection points, during transport, and at the receiving medical facility. Literature related to this specific topic is limited. However, literature regarding prehospital use of ultrasound, ultrasound in combat situations, and some articles specific to disaster medicine allude to the potential growth of ultrasound utilization in disaster response.
To evaluate the utility of point-of-care ultrasound in a disaster response based on studies involving ultrasonography in resource-limited environments.
A narrative review of MEDLINE, MEDLINE InProcess, EPub, and Embase found 20 articles for inclusion.
Experiences from past disasters, prehospital care, and combat experiences have demonstrated the value of ultrasound both as a diagnostic and interventional modality.
Current literature supports the use of ultrasound in disaster response as a real-time, portable, safe, reliable, repeatable, easy-to-use, and accurate tool. While both false positives and false negatives were reported in prehospital studies, these values correlate to accepted false positive and negative rates of standard in-hospital point-of-care ultrasound exams. Studies involving austere environments demonstrate the ability to apply ultrasound in extreme conditions and to obtain high-quality images with only modest training and real-time remote guidance. The potential for point-of-care ultrasound in triage and management of mass casualty incidents is there. However, as these studies are heterogeneous and observational in nature, further research is needed as to how to integrate ultrasound into the response and recovery phases.
The Dallas Convention Center received over 3800 evacuees because of the unprecedented flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. A multidisciplinary medical clinic was established onsite to address evacuee needs for medical evaluations, emergency care, chronic disease management, pharmaceuticals, durable medical equipment, and local health services integration. To operate efficiently, the Dallas Mega-Shelter Emergency Operations Center (EOC) worked with the Mega-Shelter Medical Clinic (MMC) under a fluid incident command (IC) structure that was National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliant. Iterations of MMC IC demonstrated maturations in organizational structure while supporting MMC operations that varied from rigid NIMS doctrine.
To explore the use of a fluid IC structure at a large evacuation medical shelter after Hurricane Harvey.
We observed evolutions of IC organizational charts and operational impacts.
Modifications through just-in-time iterations of the IC organizational chart were posted and reviewed with MMC IC and EOC sector chiefs. Changes in the organizational chart were noted to improve identification of logistical needs, supply delivery, coordinate with other agencies, and to make decisions for resource typing and personnel utilization. Adaptations also improved communication, which led to timely situational awareness and reporting accuracy.
MMC medical services were improved by allowing modifications and adaptations to NIMS compliant MMC IC organizational roles and duty assignments. The fluidity of IC structure with ability for just-in-time modifications directly impacted the provision of disaster medical services. Unique situational awareness, coordination of care pathways within the local innate health infrastructure, compliance with health service regulations, and personnel resource typing all contributed to and benefitted from these IC modifications. MMC and EOC IC collaboration facilitated effective communication and maintained an appropriate span of control and efficient activity reporting.
In 2017, members of our workgroup published on the readiness for nuclear and radiological incidents among emergency medical personnel.1 Our findings, along with a review of pertinent literature, suggest that the state of medical preparedness for these incidents is in crisis. A 2018 publication addressing nuclear terrorism preparedness relegates medical preparedness to a low priority and describes it as potentially dangerous.2 The crisis status of medical preparedness for these incidents is addressed.
To establish a prepared medical workforce and trained public for those at risk from nuclear or radiological disasters.
This Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved survey published an article and used a relevant literature review.
Readiness for nuclear and radiological incidents is lacking in multiple areas including education, training, identifying medical needs, willingness to come to work, and perception of relative risk among medical personnel.1 Confounding this is recent prominent publication downplaying and discouraging medical preparedness for nuclear terrorism.2 The importance of a readied workforce and a prepared public is identified.
In 2013, we formed a multi-national workgroup focused on preparing health professionals and the public for clinical management of casualties during nuclear and radiological disasters. Modeling has demonstrated predictable casualty injury and illness patterns suggesting that early appropriate medical response will save lives. Readiness demands an educated, skillful, and willing-to-engage medical workforce. Our 2017 publication identified several areas that place medical preparedness at risk.1 A significant risk to medical preparedness may lie in prominent publications discouraging the pursuit.2 We firmly believe that medical preparedness is essential and begins with a prepared public.
In the United States, over 50% of people have at least one chronic medical condition, access, or functional limitation. In 2017 during Hurricane Harvey, the establishment of a comprehensive multidisciplinary onsite medical clinic provided health and medical services to over 3,800 evacuees at the Dallas Mega Shelter, providing large-scale general population sheltering support to all evacuees and prioritizing family unit integrity by meeting physical, sensory, and cognitive limitations, and chronic medical conditions. The effectiveness of the Dallas Mega Shelter onsite medical operations supporting this aim is reviewed.
To utilize onsite health and medical resources to meet access and functional needs of evacuees seeking general population mass sheltering in Dallas, Texas during Hurricane Harvey.
Over 3,800 evacuees were evaluated for functional needs support services (FNSS) resulting in over 2,500 evacuee patient encounters during 21 continuous days of onsite health and medical clinic operations.1 A comprehensive array of services were available at no cost to the evacuees and were in accordance with the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) published Guidance on Planning for Integration of Functional Needs Support Service in General Population Shelters.2 The goal to maintain nearly all evacuees choosing to stay in the Mega Shelter was achieved. The challenges, limitations, and risks identified are reviewed.
FNSS guidelines require all persons, regardless of limitations, when evacuated from home be provided all services necessary to allow them to remain in general population sheltering.2 This prioritization of personal choice, functional independence, and family integrity for those with comprehensive FNSS requirements presented notable challenges, including public health and safety risks impacting the wellbeing of others. Meeting these expectations must be balanced with maintaining shelter integrity.
To investigate the relative importance of 10 attributes identified in prior studies as essential for effective disaster medical responders and leaders.
Emergency and disaster medical response personnel (N=220) ranked 10 categories of disaster worker attributes in order of their importance in contributing to the effectiveness of disaster responders and leaders.
Attributes of disaster medical leaders and responders were rank ordered, and the rankings differed for leaders and responders. For leaders, problem-solving/decision-making and communication skills were the highest ranked, whereas teamwork/interpersonal skills and calm/cool were the highest ranked for responders.
The 10 previously identified attributes of effective disaster medical responders and leaders include personal characteristics and general skills in addition to knowledge of incident command and disaster medicine. The differences in rank orders of attributes for leaders and responders suggest that when applying these attributes in personnel recruitment, selection, and training, the proper emphasis and priority given to each attribute may vary by role. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:700–703)
On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas. The ensuing unprecedented flooding throughout the Texas coastal region affected millions of individuals.1 The statewide response in Texas included the sheltering of thousands of individuals at considerable distances from their homes. The Dallas area established large-scale general population sheltering as the number of evacuees to the area began to amass. Historically, the Dallas area is one familiar with “mega-sheltering,” beginning with the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.2 Through continued efforts and development, the Dallas area had been readying a plan for the largest general population shelter in Texas. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:33–37)
Recent evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency is associated with CVD, impaired kidney function and proteinuria. To date, no study has evaluated these associations in renal transplant recipients (RTR) adjusting for body adiposity assessed by a ‘gold standard’ method. This study aimed to evaluate the vitamin D status and its association with body adiposity, CVD risk factors, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and proteinuria in RTR, living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (a low-latitude city (22°54'10"S)), taking into account body adiposity evaluated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). This cross-sectional study included 195 RTR (114 men) aged 47·6 (sd 11·2) years. Nutritional evaluation included anthropometry and DXA. Risk factors for CVD were hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidaemia and the metabolic syndrome. eGFR was evaluated using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration was used to define vitamin D status as follows: 10 % (n 19) had vitamin D deficiency (<16 ng/ml), 43 % (n 85) had insufficiency (16–30 ng/ml) and 47 % (n 91) had sufficiency (>30 ng/ml). Percentage of body fat (DXA) was significantly associated with vitamin D deficiency independently of age, sex and eGFR. Lower 25(OH)D was associated with higher odds of the metabolic syndrome and dyslipidaemia after adjustment for age, sex and eGFR, but not after additional adjustment for body fat. Hypertension and diabetes were not related to 25(OH)D. Lower serum 25(OH)D was associated with increasing proteinuria and decreasing eGFR even after adjustments for age, sex and percentage of body fat. This study suggests that in RTR of a low-latitude city hypovitaminosis D is common, and is associated with excessive body fat, decreased eGFR and increased proteinuria.
Mosquito-borne diseases pose a threat to individual health and population health on both a local and a global level. The threat is even more exaggerated during disasters, whether manmade or environmental. With the recent Zika virus outbreak, it is important to highlight other infections that can mimic the Zika virus and to better understand what can be done as public health officials and health care providers.
This article reviews the recent literature on the Zika virus as well as chikungunya virus and dengue virus.
The present findings give a better understanding of the similarities and differences between the 3 infections in terms of their characteristics, clinical presentation, diagnosis methodology, and treatment and what can be done for prevention. Additionally, the article highlights a special population that has received much focus in the latest outbreak, the pregnant individual.
Education and training are instrumental in controlling the outbreak, and early detection can be lifesaving. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:290–299).
In many countries, traditional medical planning for disasters developed largely in response to battlefield and multiple casualty incidents, generally involving corporal injuries. The mass evacuation of a metropolitan population in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina evolved into life-and-death triage scenarios involving thousands of patients with nontraumatic illnesses and special medical needs. Although unprecedented in the United States, triage management needs for this disaster were similar to other large-scale public health emergencies, both natural and human-generated, that occurred globally in the past half-century. The need for alternative triage-management processes similar to the methodologies of other global mass public health emergencies is illustrated through the experience of disaster medical assistance teams in the first 3 days following Katrina's landfall. The immediate establishment of disaster-specific, consensus-based, public health emergency–related triage protocols—developed with ethical and legal expertise and a renewed focus on multidimensional, multifactorial matrix decision-making processes—is strongly recommended. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2008;2(Suppl 1):S40–S44)
Methods: An effective disaster response requires competent responders and leaders. The purpose of this study was to ask experts to identify attributes that distinguish effective from ineffective responders and leaders in a disaster. In this qualitative study, focus groups were held with jurisdictional medical directors for the 9-1-1 emergency medical services systems of the majority of the nation's largest cities. These sessions were recorded with audio equipment and later transcribed.
Results: The researchers identified themes within the transcriptions, created categories, and coded passages into these categories. Overall interrater reliability was excellent (κ = .8). The focus group transcripts yielded 138 codable passages. Ten categories were developed from analysis of the content: Incident Command System/Disaster Training/Experience, General Training/Experience, Teamwork/Interpersonal, Communication, Cognition, Problem Solving/Decision Making, Adaptable/Flexible, Calm/Cool, Character, and Performs Role. The contents of these categories included knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviors, and personal characteristics.
Conclusions: Experts in focus groups identified a variety of competencies for disaster responders and leaders. These competencies will require validation through further research that involves input from the disaster response community at large.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2010;4:332-338)
The H1N1 influenza virus has been described by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the media as a disease that could rival the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic in deaths. During the spring of 2009, emergency departments across the world saw a spike in the number of influenza cases and by June 2009, the WHO had declared H1N1 a pandemic. In order to prevent emergency department staff from becoming ill and to provide upto-date medical care to patients, information had to be disseminated quickly to emergency department staff.
An anonymous Internet survey was utilized to query emergency department staff regarding communication methods and overall attitudes regarding safety and treatment during the spring of 2009.
The majority of emergency department staff (263; 88.3%) used multiple sources to obtain information about the H1N1 virus. There were 258 respondents (88.9%) that felt that the hospital was supplying them with the necessary information to protect themselves and their families and 280 (98.5%) felt confident that their emergency department was treating patients by the government-recommended guidelines. Statistically significant differences were noted in communication patterns between direct and indirect patient care providers.
In general, H1N1 communication to emergency department staff was perceived as good during the initial H1N1 outbreak. However, because of the limitations associated with an online survey, these results do not allow for generalization to the total emergency department staff population. Hospital administrators may need to consider the differences in communication preferences of direct patient care providers and indirect patient care providers when distributing important information to emergency department staff during crisis and emergency situations.
This chapter focuses on the impact of tropical cyclones on human societies. This includes public health; the mortality and morbidity resulting from these events; intervention measures such as evacuation; medical preparedness for the affected population; and mitigation, prevention, and response strategies for the medical community drawn from a global perspective. Recent large cyclonic storms such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the U.S. and Typhoon Nari that caused devastation in Taiwan reaffirmed the need to meet the complex challenge of public health planning, especially for those with special needs. Typically, hospitals experience a lull in emergency department visits around the time the tropical cyclone makes landfall and in the storm's immediate aftermath. Part of disaster planning is deciding which medical supplies should be stockpiled for a tropical cyclone and its aftermath. Supplies of tetanus toxoid, oral and parental antibiotics, hypoglycemics, and others are needed in the aftermath of a cyclone.