Disasters involve disruption of order on a grand scale; therefore relief and humanitarian aid efforts require a tremendous degree of organization. The role of radiology in medicine is well described; however, what is not well described, and often not fully considered, is the complex role of radiology in disaster response. Current 2017 literature analysis of both natural- and human-made disasters verifies the significant contribution of radiological sciences to disaster medicine. As technology evolves the role of radiology is becoming increasingly crucial in disaster response, to the extent that it can no longer be considered a luxury, but standard of care for all communities. The maxim “appropriate technology rather than more technology” should guide our involvement. Radiology response teams should first examine the setting of such disasters, including the conditions on the ground and the populations in need of aid in order to become more effective. Of the four phases of disaster response, preparedness is the most important and often overlooked component. While developing rural communities with poor infrastructure bear the brunt of natural disasters, human-made catastrophes in affluent societies increasingly are conducted through targeted bombing and cyberwarfare attacks on hospital facilities and IT systems. The radiologist’s main resource is his ability to act as physician first and radiologist later. Interorganizational collaboration and effective partners on the ground is the key to structuring a successful radiology disaster response.
KeywordsNatural Human made Triage Phases of response Coordination Cultural factors Biomedical engineering and portable CT scanning Health cluster Interorganizational Strategic advanced imaging reserve Global disaster radiology team
The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of the Army, Defense Health Agency (DHA), Department of Defense, or the United States Government. The authors have identified no conflicts of interest.
The authors wish to express a special thanks to the following individuals for their contributions to the content and preparation of this chapter:
Dr. Behram Pastakia MD, FACR
Dr. Kamal Subedi MD c/o (TUTH), Kathmandu, Nepal
Dr. Eric Roberge MD
Mr. Michael Cairnie RT(R)(CT) RDMS(AB)
Dr. Ron Billow MD
Dr. Faisal Khosa, MD, MBA, TI, FFRRCSI, FRCPC, DABR
Dr. Cathy Zhang MD
Dr. Basel Termanini MD c/o (SAMS)
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