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Psychiatry Consultation During Disaster Preparedness Hurricane Gustav

Erich J. Conrad, MD, Kimberly M. Lavigne, MD
Volume: 106 Issue: 1 January, 2013

Abstract:

Objectives: Little is known about patient populations that remain during or after the mandatory evacuation of a city and use hospital services. This study sought to characterize the population that presented to an emergency department during Hurricane Gustav in 2008.


Methods: This was a retrospective chart review of patients who presented to the Interim Louisiana State University Hospital emergency department in New Orleans during the 72-hour activation phase of Hurricane Gustav.


Results: Of the 104 patients, 51 (49%) had a psychiatric diagnosis. Among the psychiatric patients, 34 (67%) had a substance use disorder diagnosis, 16 (31%) had a mood disorder, 13 (25%) had a psychotic disorder, and 4 (8%) had an anxiety disorder. The psychiatry service was the most used consultation service.


Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first report to characterize the patient population presenting to an emergency department during a hurricane evacuation. Data suggest that disaster preparedness should include psychiatric consultation services. The consultation psychiatrist may anticipate patients with high levels of substance use disorders and the need for ongoing psychiatric management until the event ends.

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References:

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7. Stoddard FJ Jr. Executive summary of Psychiatry Disaster Guidelines and Models for Hospitalshttp://www.psychiatry.org/File%20Library/Practice/Professional%20Interests/Disaster%20Psychiatry/Disaster-Psychiatry-Readiness-Evaluation-and-Treatment-.pdf. Published July 6, 2010. Accessed June 10, 2012.
 
8. Locke SE. Psychosomatic medicine and biodefense preparedness—a new role for the American Psychosomatic Society. Psychosom Med 2006; 68: 698–705.
 

CME:

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