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This study empirically examines preparedness with a kit, medication, and a disaster plan on disaster outcomes including perceived recovery, property damage, and use of medical or mental health services.
Using a cross-sectional, retrospective study design, 1114 households in New York City were interviewed 21-34 months following Super Storm Sandy. Bivariate associations were examined and logistic regression models fit to predict the odds of disaster outcomes given the level of preparedness.
Respondents with an evacuation plan were more likely to report not being recovered (odds ratio [OR] = 2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.5-3.8), property damage (OR =1.4; 95% CI: 1.1-1.9), and use of medical services (OR = 2.3; 95% CI: 1.1-4.5). Respondents reporting a supply of prescription medication were more likely to report using mental health (OR = 3.5; 95% CI: 1.2-9.8) and medical services (OR = 2.3; 95% CI: 1.1-4.8)
Having a kit, plan, and medication did not reduce risk of adverse outcomes in Superstorm Sandy in this sample. Disaster managers should consider the lack of evidence for preparedness when making public education and resource allocation decisions. Additional research is needed to identify preparedness measures that lead to better outcomes for more efficient and effective response and recovery.
The administration of naloxone therapy is restricted by scope of practice to Advanced Life Support (ALS) in many Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems throughout the United States. In Delaware’s two-tiered EMS system, Basic Life Support (BLS) often arrives on-scene prior to ALS, but BLS providers were not previously authorized to administer naloxone. Through a BLS naloxone pilot study, the researchers sought to evaluate BLS naloxone administration and timing compared to ALS.
After undergoing specialized training, BLS providers would be able to appropriately administer naloxone to opioid overdose patients in a more timely manner than ALS providers.
This was a retrospective, observational study using data collected from February 2014 through May 2015 throughout a state BLS naloxone pilot program. A total of 14 out of 72 state BLS agencies participated in the study. Pilot BLS agencies attended a training session on the indications and administration of naloxone, and then were authorized to carry and administer naloxone. Researchers then compared vital signs and the time of BLS arrival to administration of naloxone by BLS and ALS. Data were analyzed using paired and independent sample t-tests, as well as chi-square, as appropriate.
A total of 131 incidents of naloxone administration were reviewed. Of those, 62 patients received naloxone by BLS (pilot group) and 69 patients received naloxone by ALS (control group). After naloxone administration, BLS patients showed improvements in heart rate (HR; P < .01), respiratory rate (RR; P < .01), and pulse oximetry (spO2; P < .01); ALS patients also showed improvement in RR (P < .01), and in spO2 (P = .005). There was no significant improvement in HR for ALS providers (P = .189).
There was a significant difference in arrival time of BLS to the time of naloxone administration between the two groups, with shorter times in the BLS group compared to the ALS group (1.9 minutes versus 9.8 minutes; P < .01); BLS administration was 7.8 minutes faster when compared to ALS administration (95% CI, 6.2-9.3 minutes).
Patients improved similarly and received naloxone therapy sooner when treated by BLS agencies carrying naloxone than those who awaited ALS arrival. All EMS systems should consider allowing BLS to carry and administer naloxone for an effective and potentially faster naloxone administration when treating respiratory compromise related to opiate overdose.
Disaster recovery efforts focus on restoring basic needs to survivors, such as food, water, and shelter. However, long after the immediate recovery phase is over, some individuals will continue to experience unmet needs. Ongoing food insecurity has been identified as a post-disaster problem. There is a paucity of information regarding the factors that might place an individual at risk for continued food insecurity post disaster.
Using data from a sample (n=737) of households severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina, we estimated the associations between food insecurity and structural, physical and mental health, and psychosocial factors 5 years after Hurricane Katrina. Logistic regression models were fit and odds ratios (OR) and 95% CI estimated.
Nearly one-quarter of respondents (23%) reported food insecurity 5 years post Katrina. Marital/partner status (OR: 0.7, CI: 0.42, 0.99), self-efficacy (OR: 0.56, CI: 0.37, 0.84), sense of community (OR: 0.7, CI: 0.44, 0.98), and social support (OR: 0.59, CI: 0.39, 0.89) lowered the odds of food insecurity and explained most of the effects of mental health distress on food insecurity. Social support, self-efficacy, and being partnered were protective against food insecurity.
Recovery efforts should focus on fostering social-support networks and increased self-efficacy to improve food insecurity post disaster. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:47–56)
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) improves outcomes in patients with respiratory distress. Additional benefits are seen with CPAP application in the prehospital setting. Theoretical safety concerns regarding Basic Life Support (BLS) providers using CPAP exist. In Delaware’s (USA) two-tiered Emergency Medical Service (EMS) system, BLS often arrives before Advanced Life Support (ALS).
This study fills a gap in literature by evaluating the safety of CPAP applied by BLS prior to ALS arrival.
This was a retrospective, observational study using Quality Assurance (QA) data collected from October 2009 through December 2012 throughout a state BLS CPAP pilot program; CPAP training was provided to BLS providers prior to participation. Collected data include pulse-oximetry (spO2), respiratory rate (RR), heart rate (HR), skin color, and Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) before and after CPAP application. Pre-CPAP and post-CPAP values were compared using McNemar’s and t-tests. Advanced practitioners evaluated whether CPAP was correctly applied and monitored and whether the patient condition was “improved,” “unchanged,” or “worsened.”
Seventy-four patients received CPAP by BLS; CPAP was correctly indicated and applied for all 74 patients. Respiratory status and CPAP were appropriately monitored and documented in the majority of cases (98.6%). A total of 89.2% of patients improved and 4.1% worsened; CPAP significantly reduced the proportion of patients with SpO2<92%, RR>24, and cyanosis (P<.01). The GCS improved from mean (standard deviation [SD]) 13.9 (SD=1.9) to 14.1 (SD=1.9) after CPAP (mean difference [MD]=0.17; 95% CI, -0.49 to 0.83; P=.59). The HR decreased from 115.7 (SD=53) to 105.1 (SD=37) after CPAP (MD=-10.9; 95% CI, -3.2 to -18.6; P<.01). The SpO2 increased from 80.8% (SD=11.4) to 96.9% (SD=4.2) after CPAP (MD=17.8; 95% CI, 14.2-21.5; P<.01).
The BLS providers were able to determine patients for whom CPAP was indicated, to apply it correctly, and to appropriately monitor the status of these patients. The majority of patients who received CPAP by BLS providers had improvement in their clinical status and vital signs. The findings suggest that CPAP can be safely used by BLS providers with appropriate training.
SahuN, MatthewsP, GronerK, PapasMA, MegargelR. Observational Study on Safety of Prehospital BLS CPAP in Dyspnea. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(6):610–614.
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