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Disaster Medicine

Conceptually, disaster medicine and emergency medicine are dissimilar. Disaster medicine requires planning and prevention activities before early intervention. It is anticipatory in nature, defining its mission as minimizing morbidity and mortality that result from acute environmental events such as earthquakes and tsunamis (Japan, March 2011); hurricanes and flooding (Hurricanes Katrina, August 2005, and Irene, August 2011); tornadoes (Joplin, Missouri, May 2011); forest wildfires (an annual event in the Western portion of the United States); and events of human origin such as chemical plant and oil refinery explosions, nuclear power plant meltdowns (Chernobyl, April 1986; Fukushima, March 2011), the periodic sinking of various water craft (usually ferry boats carrying hundreds of passengers), and sabotaged commercial airplane crashes (World Trade Center Disaster 2001). In contrast, emergency medicine ...

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