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Major depressive disorder (MDD) contributes to suicide risk. Treating MDD effectively is considered a key suicide prevention intervention. Yet many patients with MDD do not respond to their initial medication and require a ‘next-step’. The relationship between next-step treatments and suicidal thoughts and behaviors is uncharted.
The VA Augmentation and Switching Treatments for Depression trial randomized 1522 participants to one of three next-step treatments: Switching to Bupropion, combining with Bupropion, and augmenting with Aripiprazole. In this secondary analysis, features associated with lifetime suicidal ideation (SI) and attempts (SA) at baseline and current SI during treatment were explored.
Compared to those with SI only, those with lifetime SI + SA were more likely to be female, divorced, or separated, unemployed; and to have experienced more childhood adversity. They had a more severe depressive episode and were more likely to respond to ‘next-step’ treatment. The prevalence of SI decreased from 46.5% (694/1492) at baseline to 21.1% (315/1492) at end-of-treatment. SI during treatment was associated with baseline SI; low positive mental health, more anxiety, greater severity and longer duration of current MDD episode; being male and White; and treatment with S-BUP or C-BUP as compared to A-ARI.
SI declines for most patients during next-step medication treatments. But about 1 in 5 experienced emergent or worsening SI during treatment, so vigilance for suicide risk through the entire 12-week acute treatment period is necessary. Treatment selection may affect the risk of SI.
Mars exploration motivates the search for extraterrestrial life, the development of space technologies, and the design of human missions and habitations. Here, we seek new insights and pose unresolved questions relating to the natural history of Mars, habitability, robotic and human exploration, planetary protection, and the impacts on human society. Key observations and findings include:
– high escape rates of early Mars' atmosphere, including loss of water, impact present-day habitability;
– putative fossils on Mars will likely be ambiguous biomarkers for life;
– microbial contamination resulting from human habitation is unavoidable; and
– based on Mars' current planetary protection category, robotic payload(s) should characterize the local martian environment for any life-forms prior to human habitation.
Some of the outstanding questions are:
– which interpretation of the hemispheric dichotomy of the planet is correct;
– to what degree did deep-penetrating faults transport subsurface liquids to Mars' surface;
– in what abundance are carbonates formed by atmospheric processes;
– what properties of martian meteorites could be used to constrain their source locations;
– the origin(s) of organic macromolecules;
– was/is Mars inhabited;
– how can missions designed to uncover microbial activity in the subsurface eliminate potential false positives caused by microbial contaminants from Earth;
– how can we ensure that humans and microbes form a stable and benign biosphere; and
– should humans relate to putative extraterrestrial life from a biocentric viewpoint (preservation of all biology), or anthropocentric viewpoint of expanding habitation of space?
Studies of Mars' evolution can shed light on the habitability of extrasolar planets. In addition, Mars exploration can drive future policy developments and confirm (or put into question) the feasibility and/or extent of human habitability of space.
The Hospital Surge Preparedness and Response Index is an all-hazards template developed by a group of emergency management and disaster medicine experts from the United States. The objective of the Hospital Surge Preparedness and Response Index is to improve planning by linking action items to institutional triggers across the surge capacity continuum. This responder tool is a non-exhaustive, high-level template: administrators should tailor these elements to their individual institutional protocols and constraints for optimal efficiency. The Hospital Surge Preparedness and Response Index can be used to provide administrators with a snapshot of their facility’s current service capacity in order to promote efficiency and situational awareness both internally and among regional partners.
Disaster Medicine (DM) education for Emergency Medicine (EM) residents is highly variable due to time constraints, competing priorities, and program expertise. The investigators’ aim was to define and prioritize DM core competencies for EM residency programs through consensus opinion of experts and EM professional organization representatives.
Investigators utilized a modified Delphi methodology to generate a recommended, prioritized core curriculum of 40 DM educational topics for EM residencies.
The DM topics recommended and outlined for inclusion in EM residency training included: patient triage in disasters, surge capacity, introduction to disaster nomenclature, blast injuries, hospital disaster mitigation, preparedness, planning and response, hospital response to chemical mass-casualty incident (MCI), decontamination indications and issues, trauma MCI, disaster exercises and training, biological agents, personal protective equipment, and hospital response to radiation MCI.
This expert-consensus-driven, prioritized ranking of DM topics may serve as the core curriculum for US EM residency programs.
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.
We read with interest the recent editorial, “The Hennepin Ketamine Study,” by Dr. Samuel Stratton commenting on the research ethics, methodology, and the current public controversy surrounding this study.1 As researchers and investigators of this study, we strongly agree that prospective clinical research in the prehospital environment is necessary to advance the science of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and emergency medicine. We also agree that accomplishing this is challenging as the prehospital environment often encounters patient populations who cannot provide meaningful informed consent due to their emergent conditions. To ensure that fellow emergency medicine researchers understand the facts of our work so they may plan future studies, and to address some of the questions and concerns in Dr. Stratton’s editorial, the lay press, and in social media,2 we would like to call attention to some inaccuracies in Dr. Stratton’s editorial, and to the lay media stories on which it appears to be based.
Ho JD, Cole JB, Klein LR, Olives TD, Driver BE, Moore JC, Nystrom PC, Arens AM, Simpson NS, Hick JL, Chavez RA, Lynch WL, Miner JR. The Hennepin Ketamine Study investigators’ reply. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2019;34(2):111–113
One of the biggest medical challenges after the detonation of a nuclear device will be implementing a strategy to assess the severity of radiation exposure among survivors and to triage them appropriately. Those found to be at significant risk for radiation injury can be prioritized to receive potentially lifesaving myeloid cytokines and to be evacuated to other communities with intact health care infrastructure prior to the onset of severe complications of bone marrow suppression. Currently, the most efficient and accessible triage method is the use of sequential complete blood counts to assess lymphocyte depletion kinetics that correlate with estimated whole-body dose radiation exposure. However, even this simple test will likely not be available initially on the scale required to assess the at-risk population. Additional variables such as geographic location of exposure, sheltering, and signs and symptoms may be useful for initial sorting. An interdisciplinary working group composed of federal, state, and local public health experts proposes an Exposure And Symptom Triage (EAST) tool combining estimates of exposure from maps with clinical assessments and single lymphocyte counts if available. The proposed tool may help sort survivors efficiently at assembly centers near the damage and fallout zones and enable rapid prioritization for appropriate treatment and transport. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018; 12: 386–395)
This report describes the successful use of a simple 3-phase approach that guides the initial 30 minutes of a response to blast and active shooter events with casualties: Enter, Evaluate, and Evacuate (3 Echo) in a mass-shooting event occurring in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA, on September 27, 2012. Early coordination between law enforcement (LE) and rescue was emphasized, including establishment of unified command, a common operating picture, determination of evacuation corridors, swift victim evaluation, basic treatment, and rapid evacuation utilizing an approach developed collaboratively over the four years prior to the event. Field implementation of 3 Echo requires multi-disciplinary (Emergency Medical Services (EMS), fire and LE) training to optimize performance. This report details the mass-shooting event, the framework created to support the response, and also describes important aspects of the concepts of operation and curriculum evolved through years of collaboration between multiple disciplines to arrive at unprecedented EMS transport times in response to the event.
AutreyAW, HickJL, BramerK, BerndtJ, BundtJ. 3 Echo: Concept of Operations for Early Care and Evacuation of Victims of Mass Violence. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014;29(4):1-8.
Background: The Interstate 35W Bridge in Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi River on August 1, 2007, killing 13 people and injuring 127.
Methods: This article describes the emergency medical services response to this incident.
Results/Discussion: Complexities of the event included difficult patient access, multiple sectors of operation, and multiple mutual-aid agencies. Patient evacuation and transportation was rapid, with the collapse zone cleared of victims 95 minutes after the initial 9-1-1 call. A common regional emergency medical service incident management plan that was exercised was critical to the success of the response.
Conclusions: Communication and patient tracking difficulties could be improved in future responses. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2008;2(Suppl 1):S17–S24)
Health care facility surge capacity has received significant planning attention recently, but there is no commonly accepted framework for detailed, phased surge capacity categorization and implementation. This article proposes a taxonomy within surge capacity of conventional capacity (implemented in major mass casualty incidents and representing care as usually provided at the institution), contingency capacity (using adaptations to medical care spaces, staffing constraints, and supply shortages without significant impact on delivered medical care), and crisis capacity (implemented in catastrophic situations with a significant impact on standard of care). Suggested measurements used to gauge a quantifiable component of surge capacity and adaptive strategies for staff and supply challenges are proposed. The use of refined definitions of surge capacity as it relates to space, staffing, and supply concerns during a mass casualty incident may aid phased implementation of surge capacity plans at health care facilities and enhance the consistency of terminology and data collection between facilities and regions. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2009;3(Suppl 1):S59–S67)
The hallmark of a successful response to a nuclear detonation will be the resilience of the community, region, and nation. An incident of this magnitude will rapidly become a national incident; however, the initial critical steps to reduce lives lost, save the lives that can be saved with the resources available, and understand and apply resources available to a complex and dynamic situation will be the responsibility of the local and regional responders and planners. Expectations of the public health and health care systems will be met to the extent possible by coordination, cooperation, and an effort to produce as consistent a response as possible for the victims. Responders will face extraordinarily stressful situations, and their own physical and psychological health is of great importance to optimizing the response. This article illustrates through vignettes and supporting text how the incident may unfold for the various components of the health and medical systems and provides additional context for the discipline-related actions outlined in the state and local planners’ playbook.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2011;5:S73-S88)
Based on background information in this special issue of the journal, possible triage recommendations for the first 4 days following a nuclear detonation, when response resources will be limited, are provided. The series includes: modeling for physical infrastructure damage; severity and number of injuries; expected outcome of triage to immediate, delayed, or expectant management; resources required for treating injuries of varying severity; and how resource scarcity (particularly medical personnel) worsens outcome. Four key underlying considerations are: 1.) resource adequacy will vary greatly across the response areas by time and location; 2.) to achieve fairness in resource allocation, a common triage approach is important; 3.) at some times and locations, it will be necessary to change from “conventional” to “contingency” or “crisis” standards of medical care (with a resulting change in triage approach from treating the “sickest first” to treating those “most likely to survive” first); and 4.) clinical reassessment and repeat triage are critical, as resource scarcity worsens or improves. Changing triage order and conserving and allocating resources for both lifesaving and palliative care can maintain fairness, support symptomatic care, and save more lives. Included in this article are printable triage cards that reflect our recommendations. These are not formal guidelines. With new research, data, and discussion, these recommendations will undoubtedly evolve.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2011;5:S111-S121)
For efficient and effective medical responses to mass casualty events, detailed advanced planning is required. For federal responders, this is an ongoing responsibility. The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) prepares playbooks with formal, written plans that are reviewed, updated, and exercised regularly. Recognizing that state and local responders with fewer resources may be helped in creating their own event-specific response plans, subject matter experts from the range of sectors comprising the Scarce Resources for a Nuclear Detonation Project, provided for this first time a state and local planner's playbook template for responding to a nuclear detonation. The playbook elements are adapted from DHHS playbooks with appropriate modification for state and local planners. Individualization by venue is expected, reflecting specific assets, populations, geography, preferences, and expertise. This playbook template is designed to be a practical tool with sufficient background information and options for step-by-step individualized planning and response.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2011;5:S89-S97)
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)
A 10-kiloton (kT) nuclear detonation within a US city could expose hundreds of thousands of people to radiation. The Scarce Resources for a Nuclear Detonation Project was undertaken to guide community planning and response in the aftermath of a nuclear detonation, when demand will greatly exceed available resources. This article reviews the pertinent literature on radiation injuries from human exposures and animal models to provide a foundation for the triage and management approaches outlined in this special issue. Whole-body doses >2 Gy can produce clinically significant acute radiation syndrome (ARS), which classically involves the hematologic, gastrointestinal, cutaneous, and cardiovascular/central nervous systems. The severity and presentation of ARS are affected by several factors, including radiation dose and dose rate, interindividual variability in radiation response, type of radiation (eg, gamma alone, gamma plus neutrons), partial-body shielding, and possibly age, sex, and certain preexisting medical conditions. The combination of radiation with trauma, burns, or both (ie, combined injury) confers a worse prognosis than the same dose of radiation alone. Supportive care measures, including fluid support, antibiotics, and possibly myeloid cytokines (eg, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor), can improve the prognosis for some irradiated casualties. Finally, expert guidance and surge capacity for casualties with ARS are available from the Radiation Emergency Medical Management Web site and the Radiation Injury Treatment Network.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2011;5:S32-S44)
Facility-based health care personnel often lack emergency management training and experience, making it a challenge to efficiently assess evolving incidents and rapidly mobilize appropriate resources. We propose the CO-S-TR model, a simple conceptual tool for hospital incident command personnel to prioritize initial incident actions to adequately address key components of surge capacity. There are 3 major categories in the tool, each with 4 subelements. “CO” stands for command, control, communications, and coordination and ensures that an incident management structure is implemented. “S” considers the logistical requirements for staff, stuff, space, and special (event-specific) considerations. “TR” comprises tracking, triage, treatment, and transportation: basic patient care and patient movement functions. This comprehensive yet simple approach is designed to be implemented in the immediate aftermath of an incident, and complements the incident command system by aiding effective incident assessment and surge capacity responses at the health care facility level. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2008;2(Suppl 1):S51–S57)