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Prehosp Disaster Med. 1997 Jul-Sep;12(3):189-94.

Medical outreach after hurricane Marilyn.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA.



Many geographical areas are subject to devastating disasters that leave the citizens not only without homes, but also without their local medical systems. Now medical-aid stations consisting of personnel, supplies, and equipment quickly can be deployed when needed to such areas under the aegis of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS). Such teams can provide emergent medical care as well as daily medical care. However, these aid stations are of no help for the home-bound or nursing home patients too infirm to reach them. Thus, these citizens only can obtain medical care if medical teams make planned outreach excursions to reach them.


To describe a planned outreach program that was implemented for such patients on St. Thomas Island after it was devastated by Hurricane Marilyn in 1995.


Over a five-day period, the outreach team provided medical care for 67 patients ranging in age from 11 days to 90 years. Play and art therapy was provided for non-injured children. The most common needs in the elderly were anti-hypertensive medications and insulin-loaded syringes.


For outreach efforts of this nature, membership of the team should include a registered nurse, a paramedic, a respiratory therapist, a public health specialist, and a local authority familiar both with the area and its inhabitants. A physician does not need to be assigned to the team, but should be available by radio.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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