Sunday, December 14, 2014

Disaster Medicine: Prepare to Get Involved

Author: Gregory K. Wanner, DO, PA-C
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Disaster Medical Assistance Team NJ-1

This post was peer reviewed.
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In emergency medicine we deal with the initial presentation of everything. Fractures, pneumonia, dysuria, and cardiac disease — we see it all. We’re also quite flexible in dealing with a multitude of odd complaints and a packed waiting room. Despite this flexibility we are still accustomed to a relatively comfortable, well-lit, climate-controlled emergency department (ED) with access to a lab, CT scanner, and several consultants. Now consider how your ED would function with flooding, a lack of electricity, or a surge of chemically-contaminated patients. Welcome to the field of disaster medicine.