The Louisiana Floods

 

over the course of 5 days 6,900,000,000 gallons of rain fell and lead to one of the biggest disasters in the U.S. since hurricane Sandy. 11% of the states population was affected by this flood and 13 people lost their lives as a consequence. In looking at the healthcare perspective the demand for medical care, resources, food, shelter and clean up help were great but the amount of resources available were insufficient. Because of a delay declaring a state of emergency it took several days for the people in Louisiana to get the help and resources they so desperately needed. In addition, due to the massive power outages it was difficult to communicate with the people in the flooded areas and assessing the damage was further complicated by the massive amounts of water that prevented any personal from reaching the area other than via boat. The main health care needs included small injury treatment, sanitation resources, and preventing infection from stagnant water and mold which quickly became the biggest threat to the health and well-being of the population. Moreover, mental health needs were also found to be in great need as many individuals suffered PTSD as a result of the floods and having lost everything many people in the area became depressed. In the months following the suicide rate increased significantly as a result of this disaster. The Red Cross and FEMA were first on scene after which the US department of Health and Human services deployed two national disaster medical assistance teams to aid in the management and clean up efforts required to help the numerous communities of people who lost everything. Socioeconomics played a role in this disaster in several ways, however, the most notable being that because of the low income in the hardest hit areas very few had home insurance. The trauma care that was required for this disaster included basic first aid and infection prevention. Given the slow response time and public scrutiny at how this situation was handled, it seems that the next disaster would be handled differently specifically in response to response time by governmental agencies.

 

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