Disaster/Pandemic preparedness - page 22

I was looking the the other Disaster/Pandemic thread that Florida1 started. She mentioned that after the hurricanes, that they had problems getting basic supplies and food stores were often closed... Read More

  1. by   indigo girl
    Sending you a private message!
  2. by   indigo girl
    You might get more info by contacting your local hospital's rapid response
    team, however, I will try to see if I can connect you to some nurses that
    may be able to help with info.

    Disaster response is not my area of expertise, however, it is going to be
    very pertinent should there be a pandemic involving a virus such as
    H5N1 or another virus that most have no immunity to so your question
    is very relevant.
  3. by   indigo girl
    HHS issues pandemic planning guide for states


    Quote from //www.cidrap.umn.edu

    Guidance materials outline three overarching strategic goals that states plans should address: ensuring continuity of state government and agency operation, protecting citizens, and maintaining critical infrastructure and key assets. Several operating objectives are included in each goal. For example, for maintaining critical infrastructure, states are encouraged to build private-public partnerships and beef up protection and information sharing.

    "Pandemic influenza begins as a health issue . . . but it becomes a matter of continuity for the whole society," Raub said.

    Christa-Marie Singleton, MD, MPH, associate director for science in the division of state and local readiness at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said states, territories, and the District of Columbia are required to submit their pandemic plans to HHS so that the agency can establish a baseline for each state's pandemic preparedness and help each identify gaps in planning. The guidance walks states through each issue to consider and includes details on how to format and submit their plans to the HHS.

    Singleton said the federal government might withhold some 2009 funding for states that don't submit their pandemic plans. The guidance document says the plans are due on Jun 16.
  4. by   Laidback Al
    At the moment these deaths do not appear to be related to an influenza virus, but deaths of medical personnel are always of concern.
    Strange Disease Kills 2 Doctors in Ebonyi [Nigeria]

    From Christopher Isiguzo in Abakaliki, 03.16.2008

    At least two medical doctors have been confirmed dead at Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital (EBSUTH), Abakaliki, following an unidentified ailment, while a third, is reportedly in critical condition. The first victim, Dr Njoku, Senior Registrar, was said to have died December last year, barely a month after his wedding, while the second victim, Dr Ama, a junior resident doctor who took care of Njoku when he was sick, died last week, after a protracted ailment suspected to be related.
    Both victims worked at the Surgery Department where it was suspected they might have been infected in the course of series of surgical operations they performed. Management have closed the surgery department till further notice, in liaison with the state government, while some patients in the place have been moved out, apparently to avoid contacting the disease. Already, THISDAY checks showed that the Federal Ministry of Health has dispatched a team of crack medical experts to the hospital, following a distress signal received from Ebonyi State government and management of the hospital.
    The team is expected to carry out detailed investigation of the strange killer disease. THISDAY gathered that a similar outbreak claimed the lives of four nurses in the same hospital in 2005, before it was halted by a team from the Federal Ministry of Health. When THISDAY visited the hospital, a group of doctors from the Federal Ministry of Health, were seen meeting with officials of the hospital.
    Leader of the visiting medical team, Dr Mike Ochoga, who refused to give details of their findings, simply said the team was in the process of finding the cause of death of the victims and possibly proffer solution.

    credits to Shiloh
  5. by   indigo girl
    With permission from the folks at Effect Measure:

    The Editors of Effect Measure are senior public health scientists and practitioners. Paul Revere was a member of the first local Board of Health in the United States (Boston, 1799). The Editors sign their posts "Revere" to recognize the public service of a professional forerunner better known for other things.

    Pandemic flu and the best laid plans

    Quote from scienceblogs.com

    Last week The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a comprehensive pandemic flu guidance document for states, accompanying it with a web presentation, the first of three. I haven't seen the Web Seminar and only quickly perused the document, so I am commenting on the basis of a description in CIDRAP News, a reliable source. You can find the Web presentation and document at pandemicflu.gov. It is always best to see the original, so this is my take from a second hand source. Even so, I don't think our take is likely to be wildly off kilter (assuming you don't think we are always off kilter on this subject; if you do, you'll probably think so again).

    The federal government role is to tell the states that they are on their own -- sort of. It is clear the federal government can't be the cavalry riding to the rescue when everywhere needs rescuing at once, including the federal government whose employees will be as affected as anyone. So their role reduces to helping the state and local public health systems. Realistic and fine as far as it goes. Where it heads, though, is problematic:

    Christa-Marie Singleton, MD, MPH, associate director for science in the division of state and local readiness at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said states, territories, and the District of Columbia are required to submit their pandemic plans to HHS so that the agency can establish a baseline for each state's pandemic preparedness and help each identify gaps in planning. The guidance walks states through each issue to consider and includes details on how to format and submit their plans to the HHS.
    Singleton said the federal government might withhold some 2009 funding for states that don't submit their pandemic plans. The guidance document says the plans are due on Jun 16.

    Webinar participants said federal officials would be available to help states prepare their pandemic plan submissions. (Lisa Schnirring, CIDRAP News)

    Ouch! We're from the Federal Government and we're here to help you. Start by filing paperwork and we'll tell you exactly what the paper work has to have in it. Or we don't feed you.

    There is something unredeemingly controlling about this that is discouraging and counterproductive. It might work for some things, but not for this. Localities differ and will solve their problems in specific, perhaps idiosyncratic ways. We need to get them resources, mainly money in the form of Block Grants, and let them use it to make their public health and social service systems fit for duty, functioning properly and working effectively at the community level. Few if any places in the US meet this basic requirement now. The goal is not to fulfill some pre-envisioned planning sequence but to make the community sufficiently robust to function during a pandemic.

    One of the overarching goals is to assure the continued functioning of critical infrastructure. Unfortunately much of that infrastructure is outside public control, in the hands of private companies (many water companies, almost all utilities) and there is no guidance as to who will do what and for what reason. There is now widespread recognition of the many problems a serious pandemic would bring. That's a step forward. But unless those problems have solutions, it's not where we need to be. At the same time there is considerable lack of clarity about roles the Federal government might decide to play if it felt it necessary "to protect Americans." We've seen a lot of what this administration would like to do to protect us and many of us feel we want to be protected from our own government instead. The coercive role the Feds might play in all this is a blank page that needs to be filled in with limits and boundaries. Somehow many of us suspect that the federal government is more likely to try to enforce a quarantine order than to take over a utility. It's all about choices.

    Some of this is good and goes in the right direction. Planning, in itself, is a big step forward. But the plan on paper will go out the window in the first week (the old military saying applies: no battle plan survives the first engagement with the enemy), even while the planning is valuable by envisioning what is ahead, meeting your counterparts in other agencies, thinking it through, all tremendously valuable. States and localities need to be strongly and forcefully encouraged to do this. But most states and communities are also fully engaged in the desperate business of trying to keep people alive day to day and until they can get out from the falling debris of a system disintegrating about their ears. In those circumstances, pandemic planning is a luxury, even harmful to the extent it pulls people away from other urgent business.

    Isolating pandemic planning from the overall health of the system isn't going to work, no matter how detailed the plan.
  6. by   indigo girl
    US State Pandemic Plans


    They do not all agree, but here are the plans for each state. Some of them are
    much more detailed than others. When you read them, and wonder exactly how
    they will do some of what they are saying, you might get the feeling that for some
    it was just an exercise on paper that the feds forced on them since there is always
    the threat of federal funds being withheld. The devil is in the details. Our role as
    nurses and HCW is in those details somewhere. We are commodities.
  7. by   indigo girl
    HHS includes online services in pandemic communication drill


    Blogging has become an acceptable way to reach the public with important
    information as this report from CIDRAP indicates with bloggers as well as
    well known news sources participating in this HHS pandemic drill on March 17th.

    Quote from www.cidrap.umn.edu
    (hat tip Avian Flu Diary)

    The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently held a tabletop exercise to assess how it could best work with the news media--including blogs and other online-only information sources--to get status updates and vital health information to the American people during an influenza pandemic.

    The session was held on Mar 17 at HHS headquarters in Washington, DC. Representatives from online avian-flu information services such as Avian Flu Diary, FluTrackers, FluWiki, WebMD, and CIDRAP News participated in the exercise along with those from several national media organizations, including ABC News, National Public Radio, and Reuters.

    The exercise was the second time HHS has reached out to blogs. In May 2007, the department featured posts from bloggers such as Michael Coston of Avian Flu Diary and Greg Dworkin, MD, of FluWiki in a 5-week pandemic preparedness blog series.
    Avian Flu Diary on the HHS Pandemic Exercise:


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    During this day-long `tabletop' exercise, representatives from the HHS, CDC, Homeland Security, State Department, State and local Health Departments, Print and broadcast journalism, and yes . . . three representatives of flu forums and flu blogs, plus representatives from CIDRAP and WebMd . . . worked through a 12 week pandemic scenario.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Mar 19, '08
  8. by   indigo girl
    From US Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary Mike Leavitt's Blog,
    comes his commentary on the Pandemic Exercise of 17 March with members of
    govt, journalists and flu bloggers that was held in Washington, D.C.

    It's not only the media that reads the flu blogs, however, the govt does too.
    Count on it.

    Pandemic Exercise with Bloggers

    (hat tip Avian Flu Diary)
  9. by   indigo girl
    Why you should care about Indonesia

    (hat tip Avian Flu Diary)
  10. by   sharona97
    So true, protecting ourselves from the government, and the ideology of having a separate task force clearly for pandemic planning interfering with the current healthcare.

    Great post.
  11. by   indigo girl
    There are very few pharmaceutical choices available for countries preparing
    for the next pandemic especially if the virus being fought is the dreaded H5N1
    bird flu. Here are two links discussing the urgent need to come up with solutions.

    Immune-boosting Adjuvant Patch


    Quote from crofsblogs.typepad.com

    Makers of a patch that ramps up the immune system's response to influenza vaccine reported impressive results Thursday, showing that a vaccine against H5N1 avian flu given with the patch raised what are thought to be protective levels of antibodies with a single dose.

    The preliminary finding raises hopes a one-dose vaccine-patch regimen might be a possibility in a flu pandemic, eliminating the need to bring every person to be immunized in for a booster dose several weeks after the first or priming dose was given...
    Bali Conference: The Need For New Antivirals


    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    "We have learnt some bird flu patients in Hong Kong and Vietnam have shown resistance to old medicines"...

    Many countries are currently using Osetamivir, locally known as Tamiflu, to treat patients diagnosed with bird flu.

    Tamiflu must be given to bird flu patients early as it reacts with the virus while it is still in the patient's blood. Once the virus enters the patient's lungs, the tablet is not much use, Amin said.
  12. by   indigo girl
    NIOSH Accepting Comments Until June 1 on Health Workers' PPE Plan

    (hat tip fluwiki/kobie)

    Quote from www.ohsonline.com

    June 1 is the new deadline for stakeholders to comment on NIOSH's Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Workers Action Plan, a 66-page document intended to help guide the effort to get the nation's 14 million health care workers ready for an influenza pandemic.

    The SARS episode in 2003 had already demonstrated the importance of protecting health care workers during mass disease outbreaks, and this was part of the reason for the IOM panel's three overall recommendations: 1) understand influenza transmission, 2) commit to workers' safety and appropriate use of PPE, and 3) innovate and strengthen PPE design, testing, and certification.
  13. by   indigo girl
    Volunteers Will Be Needed


    I would be the first to say that not everyone should work in nursing
    during a pandemic. If you have kids, or sick family members, or you
    are pregnant, please stay home. You also may be more at risk if under age
    40 because this is the age group of most of the victims of bird flu.

    That said, there will be an urgent need for volunteers not just in
    health care, but for doing the essential things that keep communities
    functioning. Our nation has been through some difficult times before,
    when volunteers and the collective will of the people has gotten us through
    as noted in the following terrific essay from Fla Medic. His blog is read by
    CDC, HHS and, and probably many other govt agencies as well as private
    citizens. Right, it's a blog, and the govt takes it seriously enough to read it,
    and invited him to Washington to participate in a pandemic flu exercise as
    as part of the recent HHS interactive blog with Secretary Leavitt. Imagine that.

    Quote from afludiary.blogspot.com

    No, not everyone will volunteer to work during a pandemic. I understand that. Not everyone is suited for it. There are personal risks involved. It takes a special type of person, often one without family responsibilities, to undertake this sort of assignment in a crisis. But there are more of them out there than you know. You just have to ask them to come forth.

    Officials are often loath to ask for help from the public. They see it as an admission of failure on their part. But the real failure would be in not asking, when the need is this obvious. They can't handle a pandemic alone. They know it. We know it.