JMA Disaster Headquarters Status Reports

20:00, March 22, 2011

The presidents of medical associations in the Tohoku region, the president of the Ibaraki Medical Association, and full-time officers of the JMA held an expanded response meeting via teleconference from 4:00 pm today. Everyone held a silent prayer at the beginning.

The presidents of medical associations in afflicted prefectures graphically described the situation that has inflicted immense damage on the people and medical institutions in the region, as the destruction caused by this disaster is extreme (8 members are still missing in Iwate; so far 9 members in Miyagi are known to have died; and it seems that the damage toll will expand).

The presidents said that the JMA's dispatch of JMATs and emergency transport of drugs was a great help. However, there are sill insufficient quantities of some drugs, and so they would like to continue receiving supplies. They also strongly requested continued operation of JMATs, since life in evacuation centers is going to be prolonged further.

In addition to receiving reports of the situation on the ground, the JMA reported on efforts made thus far. This meeting was not only an opportunity to exchange information; both sides were able to make requests of each other for the future.

Physician Diet Members
The nonpartisan Alliance of Physician Diet Members to Ensure Appropriate Medical Care (president: Shozaburo Jimi; secretary-general: Mitsuru Sakurai), formed on March 10 just before the disaster, declared on March 18 that its members will work in their capacity as Diet members on laws and a budget to enable emergency medical care for the survivors and the prompt implementation of medium-and long-term medical care measures.

Mental Care
Mental care will become necessary with the prolongation of life in evacuation centers. On March 22, an offer was received from the Japanese Association of Psychiatric Hospitals. Hereafter it will be possible to form JMATs of psychiatrists and to dispatch psychiatrists to join other JMATs, which will enable the discovery and treatment of conditions such as PTSD requiring mental care.

Patient Transfer
The JMA is conducting surveys of the acceptance of patients from afflicted prefectures who need to be hospitalized, focusing on nearby prefectures. Actual numbers are ascertained to enable cooperation within and across prefectural borders. This time the survey will also include clinics with beds.

Today 62 JMATs are in action and 68 JMATs are in preparation. The afflicted prefectures have requested operations be as continuous as possible (i.e. smooth succession with no gaps). The JMA would like to make proposals to supporting prefectures based on requests it receives, but fundamentally the afflicted prefectures will make the detailed arrangements.

Based on a list of insufficient medical supplies (including transfusion solution and dialysate solution) received from Fukushima on March 22, the Aichi Medical Association made a plan to transport about four tons of relief goods, including medical supplies, to Fukushima. With no means of transport, the association struggled to make arrangements, but managed to arrange vehicles on their own and plan to deliver the supplies by the morning of the 23rd.

Triage Card
JMATs that actually used the Evacuation Center Triage Cards have reported that they are a very useful tool and advise JMATs going out in the future to use them.

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