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Emergency and disaster preparedness for chronically ill patients: a review of recommendations

Authors Tomio J, Sato H

Received 15 August 2014

Accepted for publication 14 October 2014

Published 8 December 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 69—79

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OAEM.S48532

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Hans-Christoph Pape


Jun Tomio,1 Hajime Sato2

1Department of Public Health, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan; 2Department of Health Policy and Technology Assessment, National Institute of Public Health, Wako, Japan

Abstract: Recent disasters, especially those in developed countries, have highlighted the importance of disaster preparedness measures for chronic diseases. A number of surviving patients experienced the exacerbation of a chronic illness, such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases, due to disaster-related stress, interruption of care, or both; for some patients, these exacerbations resulted in death. Here, we review reports from recent disasters in developed countries and summarize the recommendations for disaster preparedness of chronically ill patients. A considerable number of recommendations based on the lessons learned from recent disasters have been developed, and they provide practical and essential steps to prevent treatment interruption during and after a disaster. To improve preparedness efforts, we suggest that health care providers should be aware of the following three suggestions: 1) recommendations should be evidence-based; 2) recommendations should contain consistent messages; and 3) recommendations should be feasible.

Keywords: disaster, chronic illness, preparedness

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