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.
Emergency Relief Doctors:
That said, I think there is a significant need for resources concerning PTSD and mental health counseling capabilities.
Emergency Relief Doctors:
I have not heard how long the aftershocks will be going on.
Enoch Choi, MD:
Shockingly, many of the aftershocks have been 7
Enoch Choi, MD:
or more, such as that in Haiti
Emergency Relief Doctors:
Anytime there is an earthquake of 3.0 or greater I get an email and there is a constant monitoring of the clusters of earthquakes. I have not seen an predictions as far as how long this will go on. But i have not seen an increase in the rate of aftershocks.
Enoch Choi, MD:
but little additional damage
Emergency Relief Doctors:
The death toll is dramatically underreported at 8,800
Emergency Relief Doctors:
We have been hearing that the death toll is around 12,000 but the predictions I have heard in the last hour are upwards of 20,000 due to those who have not been uncovered.
Emergiblog:
Thank you!
Enoch Choi, MD:
Welcome!
Cindy:
You mentioned that you're having difficulty getting supplies to the  people who need them most.  Is this because the roads have been destroyed, or is there some other reason?
Enoch Choi, MD:
Fuel is very short
Enoch Choi, MD:
in short supply
Enoch Choi, MD:
Some rural areas have not been accessed
Enoch Choi, MD:
This next answer is from both Randy, then Jesse
Emergency Relief Doctors:
Certainly in some areas especially north of Ishinomaki there are still some issues due to blocks and flooded roads. I believe the most significant challenge with regard to delivery of relief commodities is the challenge to effectively document where those people in need are located and what exactly is needed. the biggest challenge is logistics and awareness.
Emergency Relief Doctors:
This is Jesse - initially when we got here we are actually required a special permit to get near these areas so that is another barrier that has been placed - we were told it was really hard to access these areas without permits - lack of fuel has also been a complication being able to get transport - and public transit is down and not functioning as it normally would be.
allan88:
Many thanks to you and your team for your service to our human family!
Enoch Choi, MD:
Thanks for your support!
hanaguchi:
What are the lessons we can take away from this earthquake that would help reduce casualties in the future?
Enoch Choi, MD:
You can be prepared yourself with 2 weeks of food, water, supplies and medicine
Enoch Choi, MD:
It has been a week and a half since the disaster and many have not been reached
Enoch Choi, MD:
Japan is more prepared than USA and they haven't been able to get to who needs help.
Emergency Relief Doctors:
As far as lessons are concerned - one of the most significant things that we have noted and documented here that is a challenge in disasters whether in first-world or third-world countries is the people in demand in control - people that manage disaster response as a nation - they need to be able to glean situational awareness so they can make real-time, informed decisions so everyone knows what is needed, where and when.
Enoch Choi, MD:
You can take courses from your neighborhood CERT (citizen emergency repsonse teams)
Enoch Choi, MD:
You can take BLS (basic life support) and CPR (cardiac rescuscitation classes)
Emergency Relief Doctors:
You cannot get information out and many times you can transit to various areas because of blocked roads and can't get supplies in because of those challenges - every country, whether it's the US, Japan, Haiti or anywhere in between, we need to come up with ways to solve those challenges before they come up in real time.
Enoch Choi, MD:
You can get to know your neighbors, those will be the ones you'll depend on in a disaser, not the government in a bad disaster
Enoch Choi, MD:
You can fill up your gas tank when you get down to a 1/2 tank
Enoch Choi, MD:
You can sign up for your county emergency SMS or callback service (many local governments alert residents to local disasters)
Enoch Choi, MD:
You can get those 50 gallon tanks to fill with water and chlorine for a water reservoir
Ashelen:
Thank you for all you do, and for taking time to talk with all of us - is there anything we can do to help YOU guys? Anything your teams need that will facilitate helping the people who so desperately need it?