Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management – An Online/Offline Professional Resource

Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management

Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management

From an email alert by Holly Burt at NN/NLM GMR (National Network of Libraries of Medicine/Greater Midwest Region)

The National Library of Medicine has released Chemical Hazards EmergencyMedical Management (CHEMM) .

Chemical emergencies are high risk events that require first responders to quickly make a series of complex decisions to minimize the risk of injury to their patients and themselves. The tools in CHEMM provide a comprehensive resource to help responders make safer decisions and provide them with the right information when it is needed most.

CHEMM enables first responders and other healthcare providers and planners to plan for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of mass-casualty incidents involving accidental or terrorist chemical releases.

CHEMM enhances and builds on the successes of the suite of Emergency Medical Management tools that began with the Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM; web-based resource, which provides information for health care providers about clinical diagnosis and treatment of radiation and other injuries anticipated following radiological and nuclear emergencies.

CHEMM is a web-based resource that is downloadable in advance so that it is available during an event if the Internet is not accessible. It provides evidence-based information and guidance on a wide variety of topics, including quick chemical identification, acute patient care guidelines, and initial event activities.

CHEMM and REMM are the result of collaborative efforts between the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) – Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations (OPEO), the National Library of Medicine – Division of Specialized Information Services (NLM/SIS), as well as many medical, emergency response, toxicology, industrial hygiene, and other experts.

July 13, 2011 Posted by | Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

NLM Director’s Comments Transcript Rising Expectations for Emergency Response?: 04/18/2011

Picture of Dr. Lindberg

Rob Logan, Ph.D. senior staff National Library of Medicine for Donald Lindberg, M.D, the Director of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Excerpts from the transcript

Many Americans have unexpectedly high expectations regarding the responsiveness of local agencies to messages sent using Twitter, Facebook, or phone texting during a natural or human disaster, the American Red Cross’ vice president for public relations recently told a Disaster Information Outreach Symposium at NLM.

Laura Howe told about 200 attendees at the recent two-day meeting (and we quote), ‘most of the public now expects someone (a local response agency) is listening’ (end of quote) when persons seek emergency assistance during a major disaster, such as a flood or a toxic spill.

In a survey conducted by the Red Cross, Howe said about 75 percent of respondents expected help to arrive with an hour after a request for emergency assistance is posted to the Internet, or texted via a mobile device. She said 28 percent of the survey’s 1000 respondents expected help to arrive within 15 minutes.

Howe added the Red Cross was surprised by the great expectations of the survey respondents. Howe asked the symposium’s attendees if they perceived respondent expectations were realistic – especially during a disaster when emergency medical technicians, fire fighters, and police officers handle numerous assistance requests.

Howe said the Red Cross and other response agencies accidentally might have elevated public expectations when agencies initiated direct interactive communication with citizens via social media services, such as Facebook or Twitter. She explained an interactive relationship with a public health agency or institution and social media followers might be perceived as initiating a higher level of responsiveness.

Although Howe noted the Red Cross (in the U.S. and other nations) is not an emergency response agency, the Red Cross sometimes is contacted first (via text messages or social media) by impacted Americans (instead of calling ‘911’) during a natural or human disaster. A similar pattern is occurring in some other countries, she said….

In local and national emergencies during the past year, Howe added the Red Cross noticed sudden increases in the traffic on social media sites as persons reported deteriorating conditions within their residence or neighborhood. Howe asked and we quote: ‘where is the tipping point within social media (traffic) that impacts the delivery of neighborhood resources’ (end of quote)? Howe noted the Red Cross plus other response agencies need to better gauge how social media spikes suggest an appropriate level of response – in light of recent trends in social media use and higher public expectations.

In a related talk, Nicole Lurie, M.D., the assistant secretary for preparedness and response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), reinforced the need for improved tools or mechanisms to assess when social media traffic surges reveal a need for an immediate emergency response…..

….’s disaster preparation and recovery health topic page explains preparing for disasters can reduce fear, anxiety and stress. The disaster preparation and recovery health topic page helps you anticipate emergency situations, such as explosions, floods, and volcanoes. Links to this information are available in the ‘overviews’ section of’s disaster preparation and recovery health topic page.

A website from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (available in the ‘start here’ section of’s disaster preparation and recovery health topic page) distinctively provides information about preparing for different types of natural disasters.

To find’s disaster preparation and recovery health topic page, type ‘disaster preparation’ in the search box on’s home page, then, click on ‘disaster preparation and recovery (National Library of Medicine).’

We also recommend’s health topic pages on first aid and coping with disasters……

May 15, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Public Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment


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