This paper delineates the key issues as highlighted at a speech made at the Health Emergency and Disaster Nursing (HEDN) Seminar on February 11th, 2021. The purpose of the discussions is to share disaster insights and identify key priority research areas towards Disaster Risk Reduction to know disaster nursing, and the research needed for the future global agenda, and which nursing may have already contributed, that way forward for understanding risk focused on capacity and vulnerability.
When the novel coronavirus began spreading rapidly in New York City, pulmonary transplant patients were considered as one of the highest medically vulnerable patient populations. It became a priority to devise a plan to safely provide quality care to patients, with as minimal exposure to the outside world as possible. Utilizing a telemedicine system that was already in place, the program was able to be expanded to include all of our 77 transplanted patients who would track their vital signs and spirometry at home twice daily, while also having telemedicine visits with recent blood work with a member of our team. This allowed other team members to provide care to COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized and mechanically ventilated.
Aim: This paper aims to demonstrate one way a successful pulmonary transplant program kept all patients safe from the novel coronavirus and demonstrates the success of social distancing and quarantining in an extremely vulnerable population.
Methods and Results: There were three main components that led to the success of this program during the first 10 weeks of the pandemic: (1) dividing our team to promote social distancing; (2) quarantining all patients and families; and (3) using the already-in-place home monitoring devices to monitor vital signs twice daily for all patients. This frequent monitoring allowed us to track trends and provide treatment with as minimal exposure to the outside world as possible.
Conclusion: Early quarantine and early adaptation of utilizing telemedicine helped promote positive outcomes and decreased hospitalizations.
Aim: A major earthquake is expected in Japan. Previous reports suggest that persons with mental health issues may not evacuate during earthquakes, owing to anxieties about living in evacuation centers. This study aimed to examine the disaster evacuation intentions and related factors of Support Office for Continuous Employment (SOCE)-registered persons with mental health problems living in areas at risk of earthquake damage.
Methods: With the cooperation of the SOCE, this study recruited 52 persons with mental health problems. The K-DiPS® Checklist was used to collect demographic and disaster-related information, and assessed preparedness for disaster, evacuation intention, problems with daily living owing to mental health problems and attention difficulties, necessity of support in case of emergency, and crisis management in an emergency. Logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between intention to evacuate and predictor variables including age, main disorder, and ability to imagine disease condition worsening.
Results: A total of 31 (59.6%) participants were aware of the area’s disaster-related characteristics and vulnerability; 24 (46.2%) participants stated that they would want to evacuate if evacuation recommendations were issued. Those who knew about disaster-related characteristics and vulnerability expressed a wish to evacuate if they had evacuation assistance in the event of an evacuation recommendation issuance (OR = 7.71, 95% confidence intervals [1.76–33.76]).
Conclusions: It may be possible to increase evacuation compliance in individuals unwilling to evacuate by offering information about the disaster-related characteristics and vulnerability of residential areas. Persons with mental health problems should receive more evacuation support.