Disaster Management in a Pocket-Sized Handbook

The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) has released a disaster management pocket guide to help hospitals and healthcare workers prepare for and manage a disaster response.

"Fundamentals of Disaster Management" is the first publication to address both pre-hospital care as well as the continuum of care. The pocket guide offers a coordinated all-hazards approach developed by a consortium of academic, state, and federal centers. The book is based on standards developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SCCM published the pocket guide to meet demand for a reference book that could quickly impart mandatory knowledge to all healthcare providers in the event of disaster. Easy-to-read flow charts, tables and informational graphics are used to present critical information in an accessible format.

This reference guide combines the core knowledge and hands-on skills needed by all medical personnel regardless of specialty to respond effectively to natural or man-made disasters. SCCM selected faculty authors from areas of the world that have experience with terrorism, natural disasters and mass casualty events to ensure practical and useful information.

"Fundamentals of Disaster Management" is designed to help disaster personnel organize a disaster site and strategize treatment and flow of disaster victims. It also covers disaster management activities, such as designating a command center, streamlining communication with the media and informing relatives of casualties. Contingencies such as facilities damage and patient transportation are also addressed.

The guide prepares disaster personnel to detect and treat anthrax, encephalitis, plague, smallpox, radiation exposure and other biological toxins, as well as nerve and riot control agents.

Officials on all levels are concerned that hospitals do not have the capacity to treat the large number of patients associated with a bioterrorism attack, according to a recent study from the U.S. General Accounting Office. The study found:

  • Fewer than 50 percent of hospitals have practiced disaster drills and simulations.
  • Hospitals do not have the medical equipment necessary to handle mass casualties.

For more information about the pocket guide, call SCCM customer service at (847) 827-6888.

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