Black Saturday and the 2009 Victorian Bushfires

Various publications and presentations relating to Black Saturday and the 2009 Victorian Bushfires

H1N1 2009 Influenza

Various publications and presentations relating to H1N1 2009 influenza outbreak

In the media

Latest interviews and articles from the media

Invited Speaker

Various presentations given as an invited and keynote speaker.

Mass Gathering Health

Various publications and presentations relating to Mass Gathering and Major Event health

24 February, 2014

Understanding the characteristics of patient presentations of young people at outdoor music festivals


Free full-text article is available here (PDF)

ABSTRACT 

Outdoor music festivals are unique events given that they are, for the most part, bounded and ticketed, and alcohol is served. They frequently have a higher incidence of patient presentations when compared with similar types of mass gatherings. Often, however, single events are reported in the literature, making it difficult to generalize the findings across multiple events and limiting the understanding of the ‘‘typical’’ patient presentations at these mass gatherings. The aim of this paper was to understand the characteristics of young people who have presented as patients to on-site health care at outdoor music festivals in Australia, and the relative proportion and type of injury and illness presentations at these events. This research used a nonexperimental design, utilizing a retrospective review of patient report forms from outdoor music festivals. Data were collected from 26 outdoor music festivals across four States of Australia during the year 2010. Females presented at greater numbers than males, and over two-thirds presented with minor illnesses, such as headaches. Males presented with injuries, in particular lacerations to their face and their hands, and alcohol and substance use made up 15% of all presentations.



Hutton A, Ranse J, Verdonk N, Ullah S, Arbon P. Understanding the characteristics of patient presentations of young people at outdoor music festivals. Prehospital Disaster Medicine. 2014;29(2):1-7.

16 December, 2013

The role of Australian nurses in disasters: what ‘group’ of nurses should assist?


Free full-text article is available here (PDF)

OVERVIEW
This publication builds on the understanding of the Australian nurses role in a disaster. In particular it focuses on research conducted following the Black Saturday and Victorian Bushfires of 2009. It highlights the need for nurses from multiple disciplines to assist following a disaster.


Ranse J. (2013). The role of Australian nurses in disasters: what ‘group’ of nurses should assist? The Hive [Australian College of Nursing – newsletter publication]. (4):24-25

06 November, 2013

Future considerations for Australian nurses and their disaster educational preparedness: a discussion


Free full-text article is available here (PDF)

ABSTRACT
Australian nurses have been active participants in disaster assistance both within the in-hospital and out-of-hospital environment. This paper discusses the current disaster education opportunities and challenges for nurses. Additionally, various educational strategies for different cohorts of nurses are discussed highlighting the need for education to be targeted at the right cohort of nurses, at the right time, using the right strategy. To enhance the educational preparedness of Australian nurses and subsequently their willingness to assist in a disaster it is suggested that the education should replicate the realities of ‘what it is like’ to assist in a disaster. Additionally, education should be positioned within a national framework for disaster health education.


Ranse J, Hammad K, Ranse K. (2013). Future considerations for Australian nurses and their disaster educational preparedness: a discussion. Australian Journal of Emergency Management. 28(4):49-53.

04 November, 2013

Who is my leader? Lessons from a hospital disaster drill in a less developed country


Introduction: A paucity of literature exists pertaining to the role of leaders during the health response to disasters. The minimal published literature regarding disaster leadership suggests that health leadership in a disaster should adopt an approach similar to that of professions such as law enforcement, military and freighting.

Aim: This paper aims to describe observations pertaining to disaster leadership during a mock disaster scenario.

Background: This case study is set in Surkhet, Nepal, a small city prone to disasters such as earthquakes and floods. This case presents a mock disaster scenario of an earthquake set at a nongovernment health facility.

Methods: Observations were made of the performance of responders in establishing triage, treatment and command centers. Results: Institutional leaders among the responders struggled to apply the disaster plans in the face of spontaneous disaster leadership.

Conclusions: Both the recognised leadership of an organisation, and those who in a disaster may step up as disaster leaders need to be confident in implementing the disaster contingency plans. Leadership in disasters must have a clear distinction between incident controller and ‘clinical leader’ roles.

Discussion and recommendations: This paper provides recommendations that may have applicability to leadership in real world disasters.


Filmer L, Ranse J. (2013). Who is my leader? Lessons from a hospital disaster drill in a less developed country. Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal. 16(4)170-174. doi:10.1016/j.aenj.2013.08.004 

24 October, 2013

Add health needs to your emergency checklist


In October I participated in a number of media interviews that focused on the need for members of the community to be 'health prepared' for disasters. These interviews were undertaken within the context of bushfires. At the time of the interviews, a number of large bushfires were devastating regions of New South Wales.

Print media appearances:
  • ‘Add health needs to your emergency checklist’; print media in Canberra Weekly, 24th October

Article above from the Canberra Weekly


Radio media appearances:
  • Adding health needs to your emergency checklist; radio interview on ABC Radio Illawarra, 20th October
  • News headlines regarding ‘adding health needs to your emergency checklist’, on the following: FM 104.7 (Canberra); Mix 106.3 (Canberra)

Media release:

Australians should not only prepare their house and belongings against the threat of bushfires, floods or storms this summer, but also be ready to look after their health during an emergency, advises a University of Canberra disaster response expert.

Jamie Ranse, a health academic who specialises in disasters, said that in the wake of a major incident emergency services are stretched and medicines are in short supply, so residents should be ready to look after themselves.

“When preparing for potential evacuation, people often think about sentimental items they would like to take with them, such as photo albums and computers, but they often forget to think about items that will support their health needs,” he said.

Mr Ranse said during previous disasters such as the Queensland floods, Victorian and Canberra bushfires, people were relocated to evacuation centres where they remained for days or weeks.

“Whilst in these centres, a number of people required medications of some kind. However, during a disaster, medications become increasingly hard to access, and this is made even harder if people don't know what medications they take.”

Mr Ranse said there are a few simple steps people can take to be health prepared, including preparing a list of previous medical and surgical history, as well as a list and a supply of current medication.

“This list should be placed with other items you might take in an evacuation such as blankets and warm clothes. People should also have a basic understanding of first aid and have a small first aid kit in an accessible location.

“It’s also a good idea to get to know your neighbours as you may be able to help them prepare for a disaster, or provide assistance during a disaster.

“It is important that people are as self-sufficient as possible as emergency services are stretched beyond capacity, and they will not be able to respond in a timely matter to minor injuries or ailments.”

Key points for being health prepared:
  • Have a current list of medications, ailments and previous medical/surgical history. 
  • Keep this list with other items you might take in an evacuation, such as photo albums or computers 
  • Keep a stocked first aid kit in your car 
  • Learn first aid and know basic first aid principles such as how to control bleeding, how to open an airway and how to do CPR 
  • Get to know your neighbours, you might need each other’s help in an emergency

23 October, 2013

Health considerations at major events (mass gatherings)


This presentation was delivered in 2011, 2012 and in 2013 to students at the University of Canberra who are undertaking the unit: sports as entertainment. This presentation provides an overview of some key points for event managers, when considering health care for participants and/or spectators of their event. In particular this presentation focused on event managers of sporting events.

My presentation mentions the Bradford City Football Stadium disaster. The original footage from this event can be found on YouTube (below). The disaster starts to unfold at the 30 second point.
   

Additionally, footage from the Hillsborough stadium disaster may be of interest, this is also available on YouTube:
 


Ranse J. (2013). Health considerations at major events (mass gatherings); presented to students of the University of Canberra – Undergraduate Sports Studies in the unit: Sport as entertainment, Canberra, ACT, 23rd October.

Ranse J. (2012). Health considerations at major events (mass gatherings); presented to students of the University of Canberra – Undergraduate Sports Studies in the unit: Sport as entertainment, Canberra, ACT, 22nd August.

Ranse J. (2011). Health considerations at major events (mass gatherings); presented to students of the University of Canberra – Undergraduate Sports Studies in the unit: Sport as entertainment, Canberra, ACT, 28th September.

14 September, 2013

Injury patterns and crowd behaviour at mass gathering events


This presentation was delivered to members of St John Ambulance Australia (ACT) during the symposium: Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll. This symposium focused on the various aspects of health care at mass gatherings.

My presentation was divided into two distinct sections. Firstly, the theory of mass gatherings was presented together with the current evidence pertaining to factors that influence patient presentation rates. Secondly, a case study was presented outlining the characteristics of ~5,000 patients who presented to Australian outdoor music festivals in 2009/2010 for clinical assessment and/or management. In particular, the patients presentations related to injury, illness, environmental factors and mental health were discussed.


Ranse J. (2013). Injury patterns and crowd behaviour at mass gathering events. Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll - St John Ambulance Australia (ACT), Canberra, ACT, 14th September.

28 August, 2013

Epidemiology of injuries at the Australian 24 hour mountain bike championships


Free full-text article is available here (PDF)

ABSTRACT
Introduction: To describe injury type and frequency, and the factors influencing these, in endurance mountain bike riders.

Method: This study used a cross-sectional retrospective audit of patient report forms, prospective meteorological information and race data over an eight-year period. The Australian twenty-four hour mountain bike championships is held annually in Canberra, Australia. All riders who presented to a first aid station for treatment during the race from 2000-2007, were included. Studied factors influencing injury were race time, ambient temperature and rider gender. Studied outcome measures were injury frequency, location, type and management.

Results: Of the 14,777 riders over the eight years, 596 required first aid treatment for injuries (4.03%), the majority for minor injuries to extremities. Only 0.25% of riders were referred to hospital, 0.06% by ambulance. The injury incidence was 8.4/1000 bike hours with a race-ending presentation (a patient referred to hospital) incidence of 0.5/1000 bike hours. Patient presentation rates were highest in the first eight hours of a race. Higher average temperatures per year were associated with a greater risk of injury. Females were more likely to be injured.

Conclusion: This mountain bike competition was safe with minor injuries to extremities predominating and low referral rates to hospital, as a result, first aid service organisations provided adequate clinical care at this event.



Taylor N, Ranse J. (2013). Epidemiology of injuries at the Australian 24 hour mountain bike championships, 2000 – 2007. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine. 10(1)a4:1-5

22 August, 2013

Social Media: Friend or Foe




I was invited by the Princess Alexandra Hospital to participate as a panel member of a lunchtime debate regarding social media. I was on the side of social media being a 'friend'.

My five minutes of the debate focused on three aspects of social media:
  • Social / personal social media, such as ‘what I had for breakfast’. In discussing social and personal aspects of social media, I highlighted that this is one way, but not the only way to use social media.
  • Professional communication and engagement, such as engaging at a conference, networking with like-minded people, and linking with professional organisations. I emphasised that this is of most benefit to health professions. It allows for the extension of our existing professional networks. Additionally, social media has significant benefits for health professionals attending (and not attending) conferences, as social media exists as an extension of the conference allowing for parallel conversations and sharing of information
  • Important information delivery and public messages, such as social media in disasters. This aspect was discussed in the context of comparing Cyclone Tracy in 1974 in which it took many hours before those outside Darwin Australia knew about the event, and the Christ Church Earthquake in New Zealand, 2011 in which we knew about the event in seconds - complete with images, video and messages from those trapped.  


Ranse J. (2013). Social media: Friend or Foe; debate panel member for the Princess Alexandra Hospital Health Symposium, Brisbane, Queensland, 22nd August.

21 August, 2013

Exploring staff willingness to attend work during a disaster: A study of nurses employed in four Australian emergency departments



Free full-text article is available here (PDF)

ABSTRACT
Background: Much of the literature about emergency nurses willingness to work during disasters has been from a non-Australian perspective. Despite the many recent disasters, little is known of Australian nurse’s willingness to participate in disaster response. This paper presents findings from a study that explored nurses willingness to attend work during a disaster and the factors that influenced this decision.

Methods: Data were collected consecutively using a combination of focus group and interview methods. Participants in this study, registered nurses from emergency departments, were recruited through convenience sampling from four hospitals in Australia. Participant narrative was electronically recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed.

Results: The participants for both the focus groups and interviews compromised a mix of ages, genders and years of experience as emergency nurses from across four jurisdictions within Australia. Three major themes that influenced willingness emerged with a number of subthemes. Theme one reflected the uncertainty of the situation such as the type of disaster. The second theme surrounded the preparedness of the workplace, emergency nurse and colleagues, and the third theme considered personal and professional choice based on home and work circumstances and responsibilities.

Conclusions: The decision to attend work or not during a disaster, includes a number of complex personal, work-related and professional factors that can change, depending on the type of disaster, preparedness of the work environment and the emergency nurses’ personal responsibilities at that time.


Arbon P, Cusack, L, Ranse J, Shaban R, Considine J, Kako M, Woodman R, Mitchell B, Bahnisch L, Hammad K. (2013). Exploring staff willingness to attend work during a disaster: a study of nurses employed in four Australian emergency departments. Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal.16(3):103-109 doi:10.1016/j.aenj.2013.05.004

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More