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J Spinal Cord Med. 2013 Jul;36(4):290-5. doi: 10.1179/2045772312Y.0000000050.

Evacuation preparedness in full-time wheelchair users with spinal cord injury.

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  • 1Department of Veterans Affairs, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To analyze and evaluate the efficacy of evacuation plans described by individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI).

DESIGN:

Descriptive study from a convenience sample.

SETTING:

Outpatient population center in Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

METHODS:

Twenty-one individuals with SCI who previously indicated that they had a plan of evacuation from either their homes, places of work, or towns/cities were contacted via telephone and asked to describe their evacuation plans. The number of critical elements (scale of 0-10 with 10 indicating a more thorough plan) and assistive technology (AT) devices were recorded.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

The number of critical elements (scale of 0-10 with 10 indicating a more thorough plan) and AT devices were recorded.

RESULTS:

Median home and town/city evacuation scores were both 3.00 (ranges: 1.0-4.0 and 0.0-8.0, respectively). Median evacuation scores of individuals with paraplegia were higher in home (P = 0.05, r = 0.44) and town/city (P = 0.045, r = 0.63) than individuals with tetraplegia. Median evacuation scores of subjects who were employed were higher in home (P = 0.036, r = 0.47) and town/city (P = 0.064, r = 0.59) than unemployed.

CONCLUSION:

Low scores indicate that individuals with SCI who believe that they have plans are not adequately prepared for an emergency evacuation. Interventions are needed to improve evacuation readiness and lack of preparedness in a catastrophe should be considered by emergency personnel when responding.

PMID:
23820144
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3758525
Free PMC Article
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