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Colombia is the fourth largest country in South America. It is an upper middle-income country with an estimated population of 49.2 million people, and road traffic collisions (RTCs) are the second most common cause of traumatic death. The United Nations (UN) proclaimed 2011 to 2020 as the “Decade of Action for Road Safety.” In this context, the government of Colombia established the National Road Safety Plan (PNSV) for the period 2011-2021, aiming to reduce RTC-related deaths by 26%. Some road safety laws (RSLs) were implemented before the PNSV, but their impact on deaths and injuries is still not known.
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether these RSLs have had a long-term effect on road safety in the country.
Data on RTC casualties, deaths, and injuries from January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2017 were collated from official Colombian governmental publications. Three different periods were considered for analysis: 2001-2010 to evaluate the Transit Code; 2011-2017 to evaluate the PNSV; and 2001-2017 to evaluate a composite of the full study period. Analyses of trends in deaths and injuries were related to dates of new RSLs.
A total of 102,723 deaths (12.7%) and 707,778 injuries (87.3%) were reported from 2001 through 2017. The Transit Code period (2001-2010) showed a 10.1% decline in deaths, 16.6% decline in injuries, and rates per 100,000 inhabitants and per 10,000 registered vehicles also declined. During the period of the PNSV (2011-2017), there was an increase in the number of deaths by 16.6%, injuries decreased by 1.7%, and death rates per 100,000 inhabitants also increased. During the total study period, a 12.4% reduction in the total number of casualties was achieved, and death and injury rates per 100,000 inhabitants decreased by 12.4% and 27.5%, respectively.
Despite the introduction of the PNSV, RTCs remain the second most common cause of preventable death in Colombia. Overall, while the absolute number of RTCs and deaths has been increasing, the rate of RTCs per 10,000 registered vehicles has been decreasing. This suggests that although the goals of the PNSV may not be realized, some of the laws emanating from it may be having a beneficial effect. Further study is required over a protracted period to determine the longer-term impact of these initiatives.
Human stampedes (HS) may result in mass casualty incidents (MCI) that arise due to complex interactions between individuals, collective crowd, and space, which have yet to be described from a physics perspective. HS events were analyzed using basic physics principles to better understand the dynamic kinetic variables that give rise to HS.
A literature review was performed of medical and nonmedical sourced databases, Library of Congress databases, and online sources for the term human stampedes resulting in 25,123 references. Filters were applied to exclude nonhuman events. Retrieved references were reviewed for a predefined list of physics terms. Data collection involved recording frequency of each phrase and physics principle to give the final proportions of each predefined principle used a single-entry method for each of the 105 event reports analyzed. Data analysis was performed using the R statistics packages “tidyverse”, “psych”, “lubridate”, and “Hmisc” with descriptive statistics used to describe the frequency of each observed variable.
Of the 105 reports of HS resulting in injury or death reviewed, the following frequency of terms were found: density change in a limited capacity, 45%; XY-axis motion failure, 100%; loss of proxemics, 100%; deceleration with average velocity of zero, 90%; Z-axis displacement pathology (falls), 92%; associated structure with nozzle effect, 93%; and matched fluid dynamic of high pressure stagnation of mass gathering, 100%.
Description or reference to principles of physics was seen in differing frequency in 105 reports. These include XY-axis motion failure of deceleration that leads to loss of human to human proxemics, and high stagnation pressure resulting in the Z-axis displacement effect (falls) causing injury and death. Real-time video-analysis monitoring of high capacity events or those with known nozzle effects for loss of proxemics and Z-axis displacement pathology offers the opportunity to prevent mortality from human stampedes.
Children represent a particularly vulnerable population in disasters. Disaster Risk Reduction refers to a systematic approach to identifying, assessing, and reducing risks of disaster through sets of interventions towards disaster causes and population vulnerabilities. Disaster Risk Reduction through the education of the population, and especially children, is an emerging field requiring further study.
To test the hypothesis that an educational program on Disaster Risk Reduction can induce a sustained improvement in knowledge, risk perception, awareness, and attitudes toward preparedness behavior of children.
A Disaster Risk Reduction educational program for students aged 10-12 was completed in an earthquake-prone region of Jordan (Madaba). Subject students (A) and control groups of similarly aged untrained children in public (B) and private (C) schools were surveyed one year after the program. Surveys focused on disaster knowledge, risk perception, awareness, and preparedness behavior. Likert scales were used for some questions and binary yes/no for others. Results were collated and total scores averaged for each section. Average scores were compared between groups and analyzed using SPSS.
Students who had completed the Disaster Risk Reduction program were found through Levene’s test to have statistically significant improvement in earthquake knowledge (5.921 vs. 4.55 vs. 5.125), enhanced risk perception (3.966 vs. 3.580 vs. 3.789), and improved awareness of earthquakes (4.652 vs. 3.293 vs. 4.060) with heightened attitudes toward preparedness behavior (8.008 vs. 6.517 vs. 7.597) when compared to untrained public and private school control groups, respectively.
Disaster Risk Reduction education programs can have lasting impacts when applied to children. They can improve students’ knowledge, risk perception, awareness, and attitudes towards preparedness. Further work is required to determine the frequency of re-education required and appropriate age groups for educational interventions.
Road traffic collisions (RTC) are the leading cause of preventable death among those aged 15–29 years worldwide. More than 1.2 million lives are lost each year on roads. Ninety percent of these deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries. The General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) proclaimed the period from 2011-2020 the “Decade of Action for Road Safety,” with the objective of stabilizing and reducing the number of deaths by 50% worldwide. In this context, the government of Colombia established the National Road Safety Plan (PNSV) for the period 2011–2021 with the objective of reducing the number of fatalities by 26%. However, the effectiveness of road safety policies in Colombia is still unknown.
To evaluate the effect of road safety laws on the incidence of RTC, deaths, and injuries in Colombia.
RTC data and fatality numbers for the time period of January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2017, were collated from official Colombian governmental publications and analyzed for reductions and trends related to the introduction of new road safety legislation.
Data analysis are expected to be completed by January 2019.
RTC remains the leading preventable cause of death in Colombia despite the PNSV. Data is being mined to determine the trends of these rates of crashes and fatalities, and their relation to the introduction of national traffic laws. Overall, while the absolute numbers of RTC and deaths have been increasing, the rate of RTC per 10,000 cars has been decreasing. This suggests that although the goals of the PNSV may not be realized, some of the laws emanating from it may be beneficial, but warrant further detailed analysis.
Healthcare facilities frequently use disaster codes as a way to communicate with employees that an emergency or incident is occurring. As increasing numbers of providers work at multiple facilities, and healthcare systems continue to build disaster response teams and protocols covering multiple facilities, standardization of disaster code terminology is critical. A lack of consistency in terminology can potentially have a devastating impact on the understanding and response of visiting or relief staff.
To evaluate the level of standardization in terminology of disaster codes in healthcare facilities.
A convenience sample was taken from a private Facebook™ group consisting of emergency department nurses from a wide range of facilities. The Facebook™ group was asked to share their hospital disaster codes. Of the 40,179 total members, 78 commented, including 55 photos of quick reference badges, and the rest were descriptions/lists of codes. One badge was excluded due to a blurry photograph. Results were collated and analyzed for trends and standardization.
The most common codes were, “Code Red” for fire (72.7%), “Code Blue” for cardiac arrest (44.9%), “Code Silver” for active shooter/weapons event (37.7%) and “Code Orange” for hazardous materials (33.8%). There were 168 instances of a code term being associated with a particular event by five or fewer facilities. Two facilities used numeric systems, with 11 using plain language descriptions.
Disaster code language is inconsistent. Few of the codes were consistently assigned to the same meaning, and none were universal. Color coding was the most common method, but there was little consistency even within color code systems. Additionally, some facilities used a combination of colors, numbers, terms, and plain language. Healthcare facilities should embrace standard terminology and create a consistent language for disaster codes to enhance response capabilities and medical security.
Human Stampedes (HS) occur at religious mass gatherings. Religious events have a higher rate of morbidity and mortality than other events that experience HS. This study is a subset analysis of religious event HS data regarding the physics principles involved in HS, and the associated event morbidity and mortality.
To analyze reports of religious HS to determine the initiating physics principles and associated morbidity and mortality.
Thirty-four reports of religious HS were analyzed to find shared variables. Thirty-three (97.1%) were written media reports with photographic, drawn, or video documentation. 29 (85.3%) cited footage/photographs and 1 (2.9%) was not associated with visual evidence. Descriptive phrases associated with physics principles contributing to the onset of HS and morbidity data were extracted and analyzed to evaluate frequency before, during, and after events.
34 (39.1%) reports of HS found in the literature review were associated with religious HS. Of these, 83% were found to take place in an open space, and 82.3% were associated with population density changes. 82.3% of events were associated with architectural nozzles (small streets, alleys, etc). 100% were found to have loss of XY-axis motion and 89% reached an average velocity of zero. 100% had loss of proxemics and 91% had associated Z-axis displacement (falls). Minimum reported attendance for a religious HS was 3000. 100% of religious HS had reported mortality at the event and 56% with further associated morbidity.
HS are deadly events at religious mass gatherings. Religious events are often recurring, planned gatherings in specific geographic locations. They are frequently associated with an increase in population density, loss of proxemics and velocity, followed by Z-axis displacements, leading to injury and death. This is frequently due to architectural nozzles, which those organizing religious mass gatherings can predict and utilize to mitigate future events.
Mass gathering events can substantially impact public safety. Analyzing patient presentation and transport rates at various mass gathering events can help inform staffing models and improve preparedness.
A retrospective review of all patients seeking medical attention across a variety of event types at a single venue with a capacity of 68,756 from January 2010 through September 2015.
We examined 232 events with a total of 8,260,349 attendees generating 8157 medical contacts. Rates were 10 presentations and 1.6 transports per 10,000 attendees with a non-significant trend towards increased rates in postseason National Football League games. Concerts had significantly higher rates of presentation and transport than all other event types. Presenting concern varied significantly by event type and gender, and transport rate increased predictably with age. For cold weather events, transport rates increased at colder temperatures. Overall, on-site physicians did not impact rates.
At a single venue hosting a variety of events across a 6-year period, we demonstrated significant variations in presentation and transport rates. Weather, gender, event type, and age all play important roles. Our analysis, while representative only of our specific venue, may be useful in developing response plans and staffing models for similar mass gathering venues. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:752-758).
Makkah (Mecca) is a holy city located in the western region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Each year, millions of pilgrims visit Makkah. These numbers impact both routine health care delivery and disaster response. This study aimed to evaluate hospitals’ disaster plans in the city of Makkah.
Study investigators administered a questionnaire survey to 17 hospitals in the city of Makkah. Data on hospital characteristics and three key domains of disaster plans (general evaluation of disaster planning, structural feasibility of the hospitals, and health care worker knowledge and training) were collated and analyzed.
A response rate of 82% (n=14) was attained. Ten (71%) of the hospitals were government hospitals, whereas four were private hospitals. Eleven (79%) hospitals had a capacity of less than 300 beds.
Only nine (64%) hospitals reviewed their disaster plan within the preceding two years. Nine (64%) respondents were drilling for disasters at least twice per year. The majority of hospitals did not rely on a hazard vulnerability analysis (HVA) to develop their Emergency Operations Plan. Eleven (79%) hospitals had the Hospital Incident Command Systems (HICS) present in their plans.
All hospitals described availability of some supplies required for the first 24 hours of a disaster response, such as: N95 masks, antidotes for nerve agents, and antiviral medications. Only five (36%) hospitals had a designated decontamination area. Nine (64%) hospitals reported ability to re-designate inpatient wards into an intensive care unit (ICU) format. Only seven (50%) respondents had a protocol for increasing availability of isolation rooms to prevent the spread of airborne infection. Ten (71%) hospitals had a designated disaster-training program for health care workers.
Makkah has experienced multiple disaster incidents over the last decade. The present research suggests that Makkah hospitals are insufficiently prepared for potential future disasters. This may represent a considerable threat to the health of both residents and visitors to Makkah. This study demonstrated that there is significant room for improvement in most aspects of hospital Emergency Operations Plans, in particular: reviewing the plan and increasing the frequency of multi-agency and multi-hospital drills. Preparedness for terrorism utilizing chemical, biologic, radiation, nuclear, explosion (CBRNE) and infectious diseases was found to be sub-optimal and should be assessed further.
Al-ShareefAS, AlsulimaniLK, BojanHM, MasriTM, GrimesJO, MolloyMS, CiottoneGR. Evaluation of Hospitals’ Disaster Preparedness Plans in the Holy City of Makkah (Mecca): A Cross-Sectional Observation Study. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32
The management of mass gatherings encompasses a wide range of activities because of varying types of events and baseline medical and health infrastructures. A classification system for mass gatherings can aid in the planning process internationally and also achieve a commonality of language for describing future events. This cycle of event, analysis, training, planning, and new event should be the goal for those involved in organizing mass gathering medical care. The event plan specifies the various training requirements, certifications, and indemnity/malpractice or insurance required of the medical director and deputy. Management of a mass gathering from the medical perspective requires human resources, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and medical facilities with sufficient examination rooms on site. As mass gatherings become more frequent, more experts need to be trained and more research performed to ensure continued reductions in morbidity and mortality among those attending or managing such events.
Jay N. Giedd, Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA,
Michael A. Rosenthal, Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA,
A. Blythe Rose, Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA,
Jonathan D. Blumenthal, Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA,
Elizabeth Molloy, Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA,
Richard R. Dopp, Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA,
Liv S. Clasen, Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA,
Daniel J. Fridberg, Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA,
Nitin Gogtay, Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA
Using Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the team at the Child Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health has been collecting brain MRI scans on healthy children and adolescents since 1989. As of 2003, over 300 scans from 150 healthy subjects are acquired. The data presented in this chapter is largely drawn from this cohort unless otherwise stated. MRI is adept at discerning gray matter, white matter, and fluid on brain images. These boundaries are used to define the size and shape of brain structures or regions. Characterization of normal brain development is imperative to assess the hypothesis that many of the most severe neuropsychiatric disorders of childhood onset are manifestations of deviations from that normative path. Sexual dimorphism in healthy brain development may lead to differential vulnerability, which would account for some of the clinical differences in childhood neuropsychiatric disorders.
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