Medical Disaster Response

It is true that hospitals nearest the scene of a disaster are often overwhelmed with self-triaged patients before the first EMS transport are dispatched from the scene. There are so many reasons as to why the “worried well” seek emergency services during the times of disasters even if they are not sick or injured- a phenomenon that puts a lot of constrains on the hospital in its endeavors to provide medical support to the truly injured.

The most pronounced reason why the “worried well” seek emergency services even if they are not unwell during the times of disaster is psychological manipulations which emanate from the sub-conscience. The mere sight of natural disaster triggers impulses within the central nervous system to send false perception of unwellness to the brain. The dopamine (hormone in the brain) generated impulses will hold provided that memories of disaster, fear and anxiety are still there. An escalation of these factors increases the intensity of the hormone and the corresponding feeling of unwellness by the less or non-injured.

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In the event of natural disasters, medical organization should place adequate measures to ensure that they manage the expected influx mildly or non-injured patients so as to care for the truly injured. Psychotherapy support should be provided at the hospital before the first EMS transports are dispatched from the scene. This will reduce the levels of anxiety and prevailing fears in the self-triaged patients. First aid should also be administered immediately by medical practitioners both at the scene and health facility where victims go for medication.

The prompt medical response (first aid at the scene) and assurance of the psychotherapy will not only help reduce the influx of non-injured patients but will also enable medics carry out effective assessment on the medical needs of patients at the facility.

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