Archive for the ‘Emergency Preparedness and Response’ Category
An increasing number of U.S. hospitals are now equipped to treat patients with Ebola, giving nationwide health system Ebola readiness efforts a boost. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state health officials have identified and designated 35 hospitals with Ebola treatment centers, with more expected in the coming weeks. Four of the facilities are located in California. Hospitals with Ebola treatment centers have been designated by state health officials to serve as treatment facilities for Ebola patients based on a collaborative decision with local health authorities and the hospital administration.
Ebola treatment centers are staffed, equipped and have been assessed to have current capabilities, training and resources to provide the complex treatment necessary to care for a person with Ebola while minimizing risk to health care workers. The additional facilities supplement the three national bio containment facilities at Emory University Hospital, Nebraska Medical Center, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which will continue to play a major role in the overall national treatment strategy, particularly for patients who are medically evacuated from overseas. Facilities will continue to be added in the next several weeks to further broaden geographic reach.
CDC also released guidance for states and hospitals to use as they identify and designate an Ebola treatment center. The guidance covers the range of capabilities hospitals need in order to provide comprehensive care for patients with Ebola. HHS, through the CDC and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR), also provided technical assistance to health departments and hospitals.
The following updates and changes were announced in November, 2014, for the National Library of Medicine’s Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) website:
- Initial Actions for Responders after Nuclear Detonation: First Receivers: Emergency Department Staff and First Responders: Emergency Medical Service Staff.
- Multimedia: many new videos and graphics including 13 new teaching videos from DOE / Transportation Emergency Preparedness Program (TEPP) available on the REMM web site and REMM YouTube channel. Also links to various new CDC teaching materials, such as Videos: Radiation Basics Made Simple.
- Protective Actions and Protective Action Guides: page redone with re-organized information and tables. EPA PAG Manual Interim Guidance included.
- Burn Triage and Treatment: Thermal Injuries includes links to new references for managing burns in mass casualty incidents with austere conditions.
- Legal Advisors for Medical Response to Mass Casualty Incident: new references and 2 new sections including assessment of state and local laws regarding management of persons during radiation incidents including legal authority to decontaminate and quarantine (CDC and partners).
- Nuclear Detonation: Weapons, Improvised Nuclear Devices Key References entire list re-organized and updated, including Medical Issues: Planning and Response Practical Guidance and updated Blast injury references.
- Dictionary of Radiation Terms: 2 new key references, NCRP Glossary of Radiation Terms and NCRP Acronyms List.
- Biodosimetry References updated and re-organized.
- Software Tools for Radiation Incident Response includes additional applications listed for biodosimetry, managing incidents, and recording radiation levels.
- Incident Command System and Hospital (Emergency) Incident Command System page re-organized with links to HICS, Fifth edition, 2014, expanded to meet the needs of all hospitals, regardless of their size, location or patient care capabilities.
- Mental Health Professionals now includes updated references on Psychological First Aid.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has released a new version of Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM). CHEMM is a Web-based resource that can be downloaded in advance to Windows and Mac computers to ensure availability during an event if the Internet is not accessible. CHEMM’s content is also integrated into the NLM Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER), which is Web-based and downloadable to Windows computers. CHEMM’s content is also available in WISER’s iOS and Android apps. The new CHEMM content will be incorporated into the next release of WISER.
New or updated content in CHEMM includes:
- Updated and enhanced content on Decontamination Procedures, Discovering the Event, and Training and Education
- An NIH CounterACT program funded database with information on twenty-two medical countermeasures (including efficacy, relevant publications, research in progress, FDA and other global regulatory status information)
- Content for how emergency responders can recognize and handle events dealing with toxic gases generated by the combinations of consumer products or common household chemicals
- A workshop report describing toxic chemical syndromes, or toxidromes, that lays the foundation for a consistent lexicon for use in CHEMM and for other uses that, if adopted widely, will improve response to chemical mass exposure incidents
- A toxidromes outreach plan whose goal is to raise widespread awareness and encourage use of the toxidromes throughout the stakeholder community, and
- An evaluation and validation plan for CHEMM’s Intelligent Syndromes Tool (CHEMM-IST) that, once completed, will move CHEMM-IST from its current state as a prototype to a product ready for use in an operational response environment.
For more information see the “What’s New on CHEMM?” section of CHEMM.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has launched a Web collecting initiative to capture and preserve selected born-digital content documenting the 2014 Ebola outbreak. This initiative is a part of its previously-announced Web content collecting effort, which is guided by the NLM Collection Development Manual and other strategic collecting efforts. Initiated on October 1, 2014, selected content related to the current Ebola outbreak includes Web sites and social media from Government and non-government organizations, journalists, healthcare workers, and scientists in the United States and around the world, with an aim to collect and preserve a diversity of perspectives on this unfolding health crisis.
The content is part of the NLM’s broader Web collection on “Global Health Events.” The NLM will continue to develop, review, describe, and add content to the collection, as it also expands its overall capacity to collect Web content. With this initiative NLM has taken a major new step in its mission to collect pertinent health care information of today for the benefit of research in the future. Increasingly, that information is found on the Web, which is a rapidly changing environment where valuable and interesting materials can surface and then quickly disappear!
Although the National Library of Medicine’s TOXMAP resource is not specifically designed for any one particular group, the TRI and Superfund Programs can be of interest to specific populations such as Native Americans, by helping to find sources of chemical releases and contamination in locations of interest to them.
In the beta version of TOXMAP, click on the “Zoom to Location” icon, enter “reservation” or “rancheria” into the “Address or Place” search box, and then click “Zoom to.” In TOXMAP classic, click on “Zoom to a Place,” enter “reservation” or “rancheria” into the “other place name” search box, and then click “Submit.” You can also overlay US Census data by race: “American Indian and Alaskan Native” (1990) or “One Race: American Indian and Alaska Native” and “Two or More Races Including American Indian and Alaska Native” (2000). For more information, visit the TOXMAP and Native American Populations webpage.
The National Library of Medicine Environmental Health Student Portal has added Mercury and Your Health, an animation about the uses of mercury and how exposure can impact human health. The 16-minute video introduces children to mercury and its basic properties, discusses mercury exposure routes, outlines health impacts of mercury, describes mercury containing products, discusses mercury contamination in the environment, outlines the proper disposal of mercury containing products, discusses bioaccumulation and mercury contamination of fish, and describes additional sources that children could use to find credible health information on mercury.
The Environmental Health Student Portal connects middle school students and science teachers with free, reliable, and engaging environmental health education resources. The Student Portal offers a diverse array of engaging educational materials such as videos, games and activities, lesson plans, experiments and projects, fun challenges, as well as additional resources for further reading. Mercury is one of the chemicals covered in this resource.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Household Products Database (HPD) now contains over 14,000 products. The latest update includes a new product category “commercial/institutional.” Product manufacturers of the more than 300 products in this category use various descriptions, including professional grade, professional use, hospital grade, and more. Users can locate products using the new “commercial/institutional” link under “Browse by Category” on the HPD homepage or by entering the category/description terms (e.g. commercial, institutional, professional, hospital) as a Quick Search.
The Household Products Database links over 14,000 consumer brands to health effects from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by manufacturers, and allows scientists and consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients. The database is designed to help answer the following typical questions:
- What are the chemical ingredients and their percentage in specific brands?
- Which products contain specific chemical ingredients?
- Who manufactures a specific brand? How do I contact this manufacturer?
- What are the acute and chronic effects of chemical ingredients in a specific brand?
- What other information is available about chemicals in the toxicology-related databases of the National Library of Medicine?
Information in the Household Products Database comes from a variety of publicly available sources, including brand-specific labels and Material Safety Data Sheets when available from manufacturers and manufacturers’ web sites.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has updated Haz-Map with 497 new agents. It now covers 10,133 biological and chemical agents. Haz-Map is an occupational health database designed for health and safety professionals and for consumers seeking information about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biologicals at work. Haz-Map links jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms. More information is available from the Haz-Map Fact Sheet.
The National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) has announced a new resource directed at the needs of children in disasters and emergencies, which present unique planning challenges for health officials, responders, and providers. Multiple U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies and funded organizations collaborated to develop this comprehensive online guide to serve as a central source for pediatric-related disaster and emergency health information, which brings into one place professional-level materials, documents, Web sites, and articles distinctly about children from authoritative sources; including government, private, non-profit and international organizations and agencies.
To learn about this robust new resource, the collaboration behind it, and how it can make information searching more efficient, attend the next Disaster Information Specialist Webinar on Thursday, September 11, at 1:00 – 2:00 PM PDT. Four featured presenters will address the topic Not Just Small Adults: Health Resources on Children in Disasters and Emergencies.
A new web page, Ebola Outbreak 2014: Information Resources, is now available from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC). The resources on this page may be of value to international and local organizations and individuals providing Ebola outbreak-related services in West Africa, as well as friends and family of people in the affected region.
This resource complements NLM’s activation of the the Emergency Access Initiative in support of medical efforts in West Africa. The Emergency Access Initiative is a collaborative partnership between the National Library of Medicine and participating publishers to provide free access to full-text articles from over 650 biomedical serial titles and over 4,000 reference books and online databases to healthcare professionals and libraries affected by disasters. The free access period is August 12, 2014 – September 11, 2014. The news story, NLM Launches Emergency Access Initiative, Granting Free Access to Books and Journals for Healthcare Professionals Fighting Ebola Outbreak, provides more detail on the NLM response to the Ebola outbreak.