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The Society of Academic Emergency Medicine Disaster Medicine Interest Group, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response – Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (ASPR TRACIE) team, and the National Institutes of Health Library searched disaster medicine peer-reviewed and gray literature to identify, review, and disseminate the most important new research in this field for academics and practitioners.
MEDLINE/PubMed and Scopus databases were searched with key words. Additional gray literature and focused hand search were performed. A Level I review of titles and abstracts with inclusion criteria of disaster medicine, health care system, and disaster type concepts was performed. Eight reviewers performed Level II full-text review and formal scoring for overall quality, impact, clarity, and importance, with scoring ranging from 0 to 20. Reviewers summarized and critiqued articles scoring 16.5 and above.
Articles totaling 1176 were identified, and 347 were screened in a Level II review. Of these, 193 (56%) were Original Research, 117 (34%) Case Report or other, and 37 (11%) were Review/Meta-Analysis. The average final score after a Level II review was 11.34. Eighteen articles scored 16.5 or higher. Of the 18 articles, 9 (50%) were Case Report or other, 7 (39%) were Original Research, and 2 (11%) were Review/Meta-Analysis.
This first review highlighted the breadth of disaster medicine, including emerging infectious disease outbreaks, terror attacks, and natural disasters. We hope this review becomes an annual source of actionable, pertinent literature for the emerging field of disaster medicine.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
The purpose of this article is to set the context for this special issue of Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness on the allocation of scarce resources in an improvised nuclear device incident. A nuclear detonation occurs when a sufficient amount of fissile material is brought suddenly together to reach critical mass and cause an explosion. Although the chance of a nuclear detonation is thought to be small, the consequences are potentially catastrophic, so planning for an effective medical response is necessary, albeit complex. A substantial nuclear detonation will result in physical effects and a great number of casualties that will require an organized medical response to save lives. With this type of incident, the demand for resources to treat casualties will far exceed what is available. To meet the goal of providing medical care (including symptomatic/palliative care) with fairness as the underlying ethical principle, planning for allocation of scarce resources among all involved sectors needs to be integrated and practiced. With thoughtful and realistic planning, the medical response in the chaotic environment may be made more effective and efficient for both victims and medical responders.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2011;5:S20-S31)
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