Oxford American Handbook of Disaster Medicine PDF

Oxford American Handbook of Disaster Medicine PDF



3.58 MB PDF

 

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Preface

Disasters happen—anywhere, anytime, and frequently. In the United States, in response to numerous recent man-made and natural catastrophes, disaster preparation efforts have become widespread. Over time, they have also become more complex and broader in scope.
Added layers of complexity make it more difficult to stay on top of best practices, but it is essential to do so. The public expects a rapid, well-coordinated and effective response when disaster strikes. The media will cover the disaster and the response with extensive detail and analysis. After a disaster, recovery and mitigation of future disasters are critical elements of the disaster cycle that will be an ongoing challenge for disaster planners and providers.
Preparation for disasters has occurred at the federal, state, and regional levels, with active involvement of health professionals, law enforcement, rescue and recovery personnel, and relief organizations, as well as ordinary citizens. However, even with the most careful preparation and planning, a disaster will overwhelm all standard resources. Responders have an opportunity to save lives, limit damage and maintain public confidence by doing their jobs well. To manage a disaster effectively, health practitioners must be ready to think on the fl y, make rapid and unfamiliar decisions and know where to obtain key knowledge and resources.
This handbook is intended to be one such resource. It can be pulled out of a pocket, off a desktop, or out of the glove compartment of a rescue vehicle, to provide immediate, accessible information on a wide range of topics. By covering critical areas of disaster preparation, planning, and response for the types of disasters that are most likely to occur in the United States and around the world, this book gives health-care responders a first-line tool for ensuring their own preparedness. It is designed to assist involved health practitioners on any aspect of disaster management at any point along the disaster timeline.
Although this handbook is thorough, it is not comprehensive. Readers are encouraged to consult other texts, peer-reviewed literature, web sites and suggested readings at the end of each chapter for additional information and detail. It is our hope that this handbook will be an essential part of a larger library of information to help health practitioners limit the impact of disasters through effective preparation and response.


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