Health Chats
Live from the Japan Disaster: Medical Response on the Ground
Tuesday Mar 22, 2011, 08:00PM - 09:00PM (EST)
Enoch Choi, MDBlank
Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Urgent Care, Palo Alto, CA
Join emergency aid physicians who will be reporting LIVE from Sendai, Japan on the medical response to the earthquake and tsunami disaster in this free one-hour health chat on Tuesday, March 22, at 8pm EDT/5pm PDT.<br><br> Moderated by Enoch Choi, MD, Medical Director of Jordan International Aid and MedHelp’s very own disaster preparedness expert.<br><br> In Sendai, Japan: Jesse Mendoza, President of Jordan International Aid<br> Dr. Tim Riesenberger, MD, emergency room physician<br> Vanessa Remhof, RN<br><br> Jordan International Aid is an all-volunteer based, humanitarian aid and relief organization. Jordan International Aid is assisting in a joint effort with the National University of Singapore Entrepreneurship Centre and a multidisciplinary team of skilled social entrepreneurs, nutritionists, health professionals and disaster veterans to assist in the Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster recovery.
Ashelen:
How does the radiation being released potentially affect expecting mothers and their unborn children? What sort of effects would a mother just outside of the "safe zone" for radiation from the nuclear meltdown have to worry about?
Enoch Choi, MD:
CDC and US officials are not expecting any injury to Americans from the radiation reaching the USA.
Enoch Choi, MD:
Those in Japan with potential exposure are at increased risk if their unborn children are earlier in pregnancy
Enoch Choi, MD:
Thanks everyone for joining me today, I'm happy to be back after doing a couple of these chats in the past
Enoch Choi, MD:
I'm Enoch Choi, MD, an advisor to MedHelp and the Medical Director of Jordan International Aid
Enoch Choi, MD:
A 501c3 nonprofit that provides humanitarian relief in disasters
Enoch Choi, MD:
http://JordanInternationalAid.org
Enoch Choi, MD:
Today, we want to share with you what is going on in Japan and how we are helping, and lessons Americans can take from their experience
Enoch Choi, MD:
A week and a half ago, Japan suffered the 5th largest earthquake ever, resulting in a 40 ft tsunami that roared in at 150 miles an hour, taking out much of NorthEast coastal Japan, including a few nuclear reactors
Enoch Choi, MD:
Starting 3/16/11, I've sent an initial team to scout out how my future medical teams can help the Japanese survivors of the 9.0 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown. The team includes veteran disaster workers that are among those 200 who participated in our 9 missions to Haiti last year. They are working NOW in Sendai, ground zero for the tsunami from the earthquake. Just like in Haiti, they will make it possible for future short term medical volunteers to come help, where other organizations require a year or more commitment.

Jesse Mendoza, President of Jordan International Aid who led every of our 9 missions to Haiti
Carlos Miranda Levy, National University of Singapore Social Entrepreneur in Residence, led dozens of missions to Haiti from his home in DR
Dr. Tim Riesenberger, MD, Emergency Medicine physician who's worked in a half dozen past disasters
Vanessa Remhof, RN a nurse from our October mission to Haiti
Yumi Aikawa, MPH, Translator, returning to Sendai her hometown
Rand
Enoch Choi, MD:
Randy Roberson, disaster logistician in a dozen past missions with US military connections
Robin Low, Entrepreneur and experienced disaster volunteer
Alden Ho, Videographer
Aiko Reichard, Translator
Enoch Choi, MD:
These are seasoned disaster workers, who have helped in dozens of disasters in the past
Enoch Choi, MD:
They have brought hundreds of lbs of food, medicine, and supplies to areas around Sendai, ground zero for the tsunami
margypops:
Thank you for this Dr Choi..I have been following the plight of the stoic Japanese in coping with this disaster, I havent seen much Aid getting through, is this because of the radioactive fallout, would you tell me what is happening now in the way of getting food and clean water to these people
Enoch Choi, MD:
Most international aid workers have not gone yet because of the nuclear threat.  Our workers are carrying radiation badges donated by my full-time employer, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and taking potassium iodine 130mg per day to help mitigate that risk
Beastmother:
Are workers reluctant to go into the Japan area to help because of the radiation even with protective gear, and how safe is that gear?  How long do the survivors need to be isolated and will most of them die from radiation exposure?  Thanks, Sherry from Big Bear, Ca.
Enoch Choi, MD:
Yes, even our own military and the federal DMAT team from Menlo Park that would typically already be there, are on hold due to the risk, and have not departed.
Enoch Choi, MD:
According to Japanese officials I'm watching on NHK, the radiation risk is limited to the immediate area around Fukishima
Enoch Choi, MD:
They state most local residents should not be very affected
Enoch Choi, MD:
Their story has changed so often over the last week, only time will tell
Enoch Choi, MD:
Although iodine protects the thyroid, effects on other body systems are not prevented with iodine
Enoch Choi, MD:
Again, US officials are not recommending that Americans here in USA take iodine
Enoch Choi, MD:
We have been posting videos of our relief work on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/cyberjesss which shows the shelters we have been providing food, supplies & medicine
Enoch Choi, MD:
We have also been posting at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Enoch-Choi-Foundation/417718500061
Enoch Choi, MD:
I want to introduce Jesse Mendoza, President of JIA, calling in from Japan, who will add comments about the local residents' concerns about the nuclear threat
Enoch Choi, MD:
He has been there for the last week helping in areas around Sendai
Enoch Choi, MD:
He brought the first hot meals to a shelter there since the disaster, yesterday
Enoch Choi, MD:
It underscores the need for YOU to have 2 weeks of supplies, food, water and any chronic medicines
Enoch Choi, MD:
in your emergency kits
Enoch Choi, MD:
Japan is more prepared that USA, and still has not reached many affected survivors
Emergency Relief Doctors:
There is a mistrust with the government - I would say alot of it is due to the media in the US and in other countries that are saying that the problems are a lot worse than what the Japanese are saying. One of the things that has happened is that the prime minister was helicoptered to the infected areas and decided to turn around and made up excuses to leave. there is a lot of mistrust among the Japanese community with their own government. The international reports are conflicting - these people are afraid even in Tokyo that this is a bigger problem and don't have a sense of trust right now. This comes from firsthand accounts.
victoriasf:
I have read several reports claiming the radiation health risks in Japan are low and the media is blowing the radiation risk out of proportion.  Some people think Japan is downplaying the risk.  How would you rate the danger after being there?  Thank you for answering our questions and providing medical care to those in need.