How To Equip Field Hospitals For Disaster Response
Disasters can strike anywhere, and emergency staff should be trained and ready to assist to the best of their abilities. However, the care given in an emergency would need an array of medications and equipment to help take care of the casualties.
There’s a fine line between having all the equipment needed and overstocking a field hospital, as not everything would be able to travel light and arrive in good condition. For this reason, field hospitals may have to rely heavily on good logistical support to supply their needs.
With so many things that could go wrong and different scenarios that staff would likely have to handle, equipping a field hospital for disaster response could include some of these helpful tips:
1. Set Up The Hospital
Field hospitals are, in most cases, the first medical response that the victims will receive, and for this reason, they should be erected as soon as possible. The setup should include a portable emergency shelter where patients and staff can find refuge.
During an emergency, patients have a limited time to receive care before their situation could become critical. Getting these shelters in place would be the first step in providing care. Beds and gurneys would be the next items needed, along with warm coverings like blankets.
Having these comforts in place is necessary and not a luxury in times of disaster. Patients have been through trying times, and to recover from their injuries and trauma, they need a place that’s conducive to their healing process.
2. Employ The Services Of Trained Personnel
Patients injured during a disaster have been through significant emotional and physical trauma that not all professionals are trained to handle. Staff at the field hospital will most likely have more training so they can quickly and effectively deal with anything that comes to the ground.
Medical personnel should be trained in the process of triage to sort through the mass of casualties that they would have to treat. Some people may require immediate emergency care, while others could be assessed later.
3. Install Up-To-Date Equipment
Equipment and medication should be up-to-date and within standards to allow all the first responders to use them efficiently during the disaster.
The medication will also play a life-saving role in the lives of the victims. Pain relief would probably be the number one medication on board, among many other necessary drugs. These patients may also experience various psychiatric symptoms, and the field hospital would have to be prepared for them.
Other machines and surgical tools will be required for the field hospital. Essential pieces of equipment are also needed to monitor patients’ vital signs. Depending on the type of disaster, the medical teams would need to use various items.
4. Secure The Immediate Area
The location of the field hospital is a critical choice to be made. It can’t be set up too close to where the threats may be. The patients involved in the disaster are already vulnerable, as are the medical personnel.
Having security staff on-site will help give the patients and their caregivers peace of mind to focus on what’s essential. Regular patrols of the immediate vicinity can be implemented, and appropriate checkpoints and fencing should be erected if necessary.
Personnel involved in security should stay informed of the situation in the area and would need to remain ready for action.
5. Provide Effective Logistics And Communication
Field hospitals need clear, accessible roads to ensure that supplies arrive on time and to evacuate patients. These roads should be free of obstacles and safe for all personnel. Logistics play a significant role in the operations of a field hospital and should be carefully considered when the hospital is set up.
Communications should be included in the organization of the field hospital. Effective communication is needed for staff to arrange for supplies, evacuation, call in replacements, or extra help.
Without these two essential functions, the field hospital could be cut off from the rest of the area and couldn’t receive the assistance it would so often need.
Field hospitals are an essential function for any disaster-stricken area. Doctors, nurses, technicians, psychologists, and many other trained professionals would be the first to assist victims with their physical and mental health.
Disasters can be terrifying, and everyone involved could experience some trauma. Being prepared for emergencies may include many other aspects not mentioned here, but field hospitals must be equipped to handle disasters effectively.
Providing primary medical care could mean the difference between life and death for many affected people. Field hospitals that are quickly set up and can supply these life-saving techniques are of the utmost importance.