CDC and Healthcare: Disaster Management Lessons

What is the role of CDC in detection, diagnosis, and mitigation of illness and injury caused by biological and chemical terrorism?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plays a major role in cases of large emergencies related to epidemics and chemical weapon attacks. Among the key roles of the CDC, spreading awareness regarding health threats and possible terrorist attacks should be mentioned. By providing people with detailed instructions on the course of actions to be undertaken in case of epidemics triggered by chemical weapon enhanced attacks, CDC creates the possibility for people to survive in the aforementioned circumstances.

In addition, CDC is also supposed to provide the population that happened to be under a chemical attack with the required resources. As McGlown explains, the CDC is in charge of transporting the victims to hospitals, providing people with the required medicine and other healthcare services, and utilizing proper equipment in order to address the problem of contamination fast and efficiently. It should be borne in mind, though, that at present, a range of hospitals experiences a considerable shortage in the amount of equipment and medicine: “Most urban hospitals report a lack of medical equipment” (McGlown viii).

It is also crucial that the CDC service should be able to provide the population with professional and well-trained staff. While training and emergency drilling processes are important for people not to lose control over the situation and not to panic in case of a chemical attack, without a highly qualified nursing staff, people are doomed to slow and painful death. CDC, in its turn, prevents the aforementioned tragedy by offering the citizens the services of qualified nurses. In other words, the key role of CDC in case of a chemical attack concerns “1. Planning and readiness. 2. Surveillance and epidemiology. 3. Biological-laboratory capacity. 4. Communications and information technology. 5. Health information dissemination. 6. Education and training” (Barbisch and Boatright, 152).

What role does the healthcare facility play in the larger public health role when responding to public health emergencies and WMD attacks?

Another institution, the work of which is crucial to the safety and well being of the residents of the state, healthcare facility also plays a huge role in providing the citizens with a relatively safe environment and the means to survive the attacks. According to what Noji says, it is crucial that the local healthcare facilities should have a well-developed information management system so that they could cooperate efficiently in case of an emergency.

More to the point, it is crucial that healthcare facilities should cooperate with other elements of the state security system, thus, providing perfect information management process and cooperation between the departments: “The healthcare industry and traditional healthcare organizations must join with public health departments, law enforcement, and intelligence” (Noji 177).

In addition, once healthcare facilities join their efforts, it will be possible to carry out a range of strategic steps, such as the preparation for unique attacks, carrying out the activities that will help detect the threat of contamination on its earliest stages and, therefore, reduce the rates of complications among the patients, carry out surveillance-related procedures, therefore, preventing the further instances of attacks, etc.

As one can see easily, some of the problems mentioned above require the services of such departments as the state intelligence and other organizations. Thus, providing cooperation between different departments, “improving communications between local, state, and federal public health agencies (including CDC) and the national security community” (Noji 185) and, thus, facilitating complete clarity and coordination of actions between several state organizations related to emergency cases is a necessary step towards providing citizens with security.

Works Cited

Barbisch, Donna F. and Connie J. Boatright. “Understanding the Government’s Role in Emergency Management.” Terrorism and Disaster Management: Preparing Healthcare Leaders for the New Reality. Ed. Joanne K. McGlown. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press. 2004. 149–176. Print.

McGlown, Joanne K. “Preface.” Terrorism and Disaster Management: Preparing Healthcare Leaders for the New Reality. Ed. Joanne K. McGlown. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press. 2004. vii–xvi. Print.

Noji, Eric. “Public Health Aspects of Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Terrorism and Disaster Management: Preparing Healthcare Leaders for the New Reality. Ed. Joanne K. McGlown. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press. 2004. 177–196. Print.