Medical Management of Infectious Diseases in Natural Disasters and Biological Threats
The September 11, 2001, and following tragedies, have brought some neglected but vital subjects to the public consideration. Most of hypothesis around national and international security used to introduce the conventional warfare as the major treat of future's national security and international stability. The mentioned events showed that bioterrorism attacks as well as outbreaks with emerging and re-emerging origin could have critical impacts on the national and international security. In order to update the medical management system in natural and man made disasters, we analyzed the medical responses in most recent outbreaks due to emerging, re-emerging, and bioterrorism events. This article describes the model of medical response within critical management frameworks. All publications related to medical and hospital responses to disasters during last decade were collected, reviewed, and analyzed. The first medical responses in single hospital scale were also searched in each event. The early diagnosis and prompt management of patients with highly contagious infectious diseases were highlighted in almost all experiences. The basic components of medical preparedness in response to clustering of highly contagious diseases were reviewed. A model for initial medical response to an epidemic in referral institute is discussed. Prompt recognition and identification is the initial and indispensable step facing any communicable disease, regardless of whether it is prevalent, a newly emerging one, or deliberately released. The importance of developing and implementing nontraditional methods of public health care and designing a system that allows a wide and immediate dissemination of information and exchange of views on risk assessment and risk management are highlighted. Case identification and laboratory capabilities and isolation procedures are the essential components for an initial medical response. The recent bioterrorism events and the worldwide outbreaks of highly contagious infectious diseases have evidenced the need for institutional preparedness at each hospital and for identification of referral centers for patients’ isolation and of laboratories with adequate capabilities. Moreover, hospitals should develop a plan for coordinating all hospital components to respond to critical situations deriving from the admission of patients with highly contagious infectious diseases. The critical factors in the success of medical management in natural and deliberated disasters have been highlighted in this paper.
Journal of Military Medicine, Volume:8 Issue: 3, 2006
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