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How To Prioritize Health Concerns During Disaster: Seeking Medical Teams

A disaster is never planned, thus the time to seek out and locate medical teams is prior to the disaster. During a mass casualty event, there is a great need for those who can triage medical assistance. Being able to allocate the time between assessment and treatment can be tantamount to survival for many.

According to the World Health Organization and groups of family doctors say, a disaster is an event that happens when normal conditions are disrupted. The level of suffering has far exceeded the capacity of the community response teams and thus the order of healthcare must be prioritized.

Determining whether or not to treat and how much time to put into said treatment is vital to the integrity of any medical assistance program. A good example would be the earthquake that struck in Port au Prince Haiti. Many were killed and many more were injured.

Understanding who to care for and who not to care for was a huge challenge for all of the medical response teams. Obviously those in the greatest need with the higher chance of survival were going to be treated.

However, there was also the need to relieve the pain and suffering of those who couldn’t be helped. This didn’t mean to kill them off, but rather that the medical response team had to quickly deliver some form of pain relief and move on to those who could more benefit from help.

In order for new patients to be admitted to a facility, the patients that are currently in the facility must first be treated and assessed. Those who could wait, must wait while those who have suffered more serious injuries are being tended to.

It’s not always easy to determine those who can and can’t benefit from medical assistance. It takes a dedicated team to determine the quality of care and the amount of time that it will take to treat those who are injured.

For treatments to be effective, patients must be triaged accordingly and thus the medical treatments of each and every patient must be assessed quickly.

It takes a dedicated team to determine who gets treatment, when, where and how in depth. Each participant in the medical team must be able to work independently and together to help determine which patients will be given the prioritized care. This is the most efficient way to tend to healthcare during a disaster.