The series of natural and man-made Disasters of this decade has spawned a radical way of looking at medical response. Our previous visions of "disaster Medicine" were naively simplistic. Disaster planning, preparedness, and responses were mostly theoretical, based on our preconceived notions of what a disaster should be and were untested except on relatively small scales. Most of it was wrong in the clinch. Search and rescue volunteers entering disaster sites were found to be not only ineffective but also counterproductive. Designated facilities were capable of doing a little for many, but not so capable of doing a lot for few. Rescue systems maintained sensitivity but lacked specificity. In this decade, we're learning substance from abstract form previously unrecognized.
In "Essentials of Terror Medicine", authoritative urban war zone health care administrators and experienced trauma specialists have come together to collect, correlate and explain the cause and effects of disasters fomented by the new radicals. An unfortunate but necessary knowledge base for physicians in the new millennium.
The text is logically constructed, beginning with historical aspects of terrorism, theory and function and methods of terror attacks. Then a survey of EMS and pre-hospital care issues followed by community aftermath and repercussions. These chapters are written by experienced observers with a first hand knowledge of their subject. There follows a treatise on training of medical personal to deal with the physical and psychological effects terror at all levels. The epidemiology of terror attacks- blasts, suicide bombers, penetrating and crush injuries, burns, chemical and biological agents, even the potential for radiation. The potential of martial law, understanding communications
issues. Completeness of the subject matter extends to neurosurgical and pediatric injury. An interesting section on forensic examination of disaster scenes. Wrapping up this treatise is a very interesting chapter on psychological effects of terror attacks and the new ethics of public attitudes, quarantine and triage involving terror attacks. A complete and authoritative treatment of the subject.
This is an important book. Uncomfortable notions of how to deal effectively with unique terror related disasters must be faced head on. We need to clearly and effectively examine what we have, what we need, and what we can expect in the future. We must now learn the "new way" of dealing with the un-imagined 20 years ago. Unless we earn the present and future logistical problems of terror medicine, we cannot effectively plan for them. These authors have succeeded with this volume.