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Based on experiences following the Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear power plant accident in 2011, Nuclear Emergency Core Hospitals (NECHs) were designated as centers for radiation disaster management in Japan. This study aimed to investigate their current status and identify areas for improvement.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in October 2018. Demographic data were collected by a questionnaire with free text responses about attitudes toward NECHs. Considerations regarding risk communications during a radiation disaster were analyzed using qualitative text mining analysis.
A total of 36 hospitals participated in this study. Only 31% of NECHs anticipated a radiation disaster. The importance of business continuity plans and risk communications was shown. Text analysis identified 7 important categories for health care workers during a radiation disaster, including media response, communications to hospital staff, risk communications, radiation effects on children, planning for a radiation disaster in the region, rumors, and the role in the region.
The radiation disaster medical system and NECHs in Japan were surveyed. The importance of risk communications, planning for a radiation disaster in each region, and the role in the region are identified as issues that need to be addressed.
Triaging plays an important role in providing suitable care to a large number of casualties in a disaster setting. A Pediatric Physiological and Anatomical Triage Score (PPATS) was developed as a new secondary triage method. This study aimed to validate the accuracy of the PPATS in identifying injured pediatric patients who are admitted at a high frequency and require immediate treatment in a disaster setting. The PPATS method was also compared with the current triage methods, such as the Triage Revised Trauma Score (TRTS).
A retrospective review of pediatric patients aged ≤15 years, registered in the Japan Trauma Data Bank (JTDB) from 2012 through 2016, was conducted and PPATS was performed. The PPATS method graded patients from zero to 22, and was calculated based on vital signs, anatomical abnormalities, and the need for life-saving interventions. It categorized patients based on their priority, and the intensive care unit (ICU)-indicated patients were assigned a PPATS ≥six. The accuracy of PPATS and TRTS in predicting the outcome of ICU-indicated patients was compared.
Of 2,005 pediatric patients, 1,002 (50%) were admitted to the ICU. The median age of the patients was nine years (interquartile range [IQR]: 6-13 years). The sensitivity and specificity of PPATS were 78.6% and 43.7%, respectively. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) was larger for PPATS (0.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.59-0.63) than for TRTS (0.57; 95% CI, 0.56-0.59; P <.01). Regression analysis showed a significant correlation between PPATS and the Injury Severity Score (ISS; r2 = 0.353; P <.001), predicted survival rate (r2 = 0.396; P <.001), and duration of hospital stay (r2 = 0.252; P <.001).
The accuracy of PPATS for injured pediatric patients was superior to that of current secondary triage methods. The PPATS method is useful not only for identifying high-priority patients, but also for determining the priority ranking for medical treatments and evacuation.
We quantified an absolute imbalance of the medical risks and the support needs for children at each disaster-based hospital in Kanagawa immediately following the occurrence of a large earthquake by using the risk resource ratio (RRR) and need for medical resources (NMR).
The RRR and NMR of 33 disaster-based hospitals were estimated through dividing the estimated number of pediatric victims by the number of critically patients. We calculated the ratio of the NMR of each hospital.
The total number of pediatric victims in Kanagawa was estimated at 8,391. The total number of vacant beds for pediatric victims was 352. The median RRR and NMR of the total number of pediatric victims were 27 and 224. The median RRR and NMR of the number of critically ill pediatric patients were 27 and 12.
The absolute imbalance of the RRR and NMR for children in Kanagawa was quantified. This suggests that we might embark on preparedness strategies for children in advance. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;13:672–676)
Triage has an important role in providing suitable care to the largest number of casualties in a disaster setting, but there are no secondary triage methods suitable for children. This study developed a new secondary triage method named the Pediatric Physiological and Anatomical Triage Score (PPATS) and compared its accuracy with current triage methods.
A retrospective chart review of pediatric patients under 16 years old transferred to an emergency center from 2014 to 2016 was performed. The PPATS categorized the patients, defined the intensive care unit (ICU)-indicated patients if the category was highest, and compared the accuracy of prediction of ICU-indicated patients among PPATS, Physiological and Anatomical Triage (PAT), and Triage Revised Trauma Score (TRTS).
Among 137 patients, 24 (17.5%) were admitted to ICU. The median PPATS score of these patients was significantly higher than that of patients not admitted to ICU (11 [IQR: 9-13] versus three [IQR: 2-4]; P<.001). The optimal cut-off value of the PPTAS was six, yielding a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of 95.8%, 86.7%, 60.5%, and 99.0%. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC) was larger for PPTAS than for PAT or TRTS (0.95 [95% CI, 0.87-1.00] versus 0.65 [95% CI, 0.58-0.72]; P<.001 and 0.79 [95% CI, 0.69-0.89]; P=.003, respectively). Regression analysis showed a significant association between the PPATS and the predicted mortality rate (r2=0.139; P<.001), ventilation time (r2=0.320; P<.001), ICU stay (r2=0.362; P<.001), and hospital stay (r2=0.308; P<.001).
The accuracy of PPATS was superior to other methods for secondary triage of children.
ToidaC, MugurumaT, AbeT, ShinoharaM, GakumazawaM, YogoN, ShirasawaA, MorimuraN. Introduction of Pediatric Physiological and Anatomical Triage Score in Mass-Casualty Incident. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(2):147–152.
Although dispatching ambulance crews from unaffected areas to a disaster zone is inevitable when a major disaster occurs, the effect on emergency care in the unaffected areas has not been studied. We evaluated whether dispatching ambulance crews from unaffected prefectures to those damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake was associated with reduced resuscitation outcomes in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) cases in the unaffected areas.
We used the Box-Jenkins transfer function model to assess the relationship between ambulance crew dispatches and return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) before hospital arrival or 1-month survival after the cardiac event.
In a model whose output was the rate of ROSC before hospital arrival, dispatching 1000 ambulance crews was associated with a 0.474% decrease in the rate of ROSC after the dispatch in the prefectures (p=0.023). In a model whose output was the rate of 1-month survival, dispatching 1000 ambulance crews was associated with a 0.502% decrease in the rate of 1-month survival after the dispatch in the prefectures (p=0.011).
The dispatch of ambulances from unaffected prefectures to earthquake-stricken areas was associated with a subsequent decrease in the ROSC and 1-month survival rates in OHCA cases in the unaffected prefectures. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:609–613)
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