Disaster Survey to Determine the Role of Infection Control in Emergency Situations

posted Aug 10, 2011, 1:12 PM by Todd Fox   [ updated Sep 24, 2016, 8:35 AM ]

OUTFOX Prevention has set out to find answers to questions on the minds of infection preventionists.  Do emergency and disaster personnel continue to adhere to infection control guidelines during trying times?  Is there a way to increase the level of health care but treat the maximum number of victims?


Access the Survey here to give your opinion.


These questions and answers are important (see the survey questions below for the specific questions asked and corresponding explanations).  Why?  It has been apparent that there is an ever-increasing likelihood of disasters throughout the earth.  We’ve experienced and witnessed devastating hurricanes (Katrina, Ike, etc.), crippling earthquakes (Japan, Chile, etc.), Tsunamis, Fires, Terrorist Attacks and many other forms of disasters.  Even after the initial strike of the disaster, the aftermath situations can be ruthless.  Many are forever affected by lost loved ones, short or long term diseases, illnesses, scars and other negative effects.


 We need to make sure that health standards remain constant in order to not increase the effects of disasters. The health survey has just been released, so tune in to a later post once the results are compiled and some interesting conclusions have been reached.


What are your thoughts about infection control during a disaster?

-Very Important- Imperative to not increase the liabilities in the future

-Pretty Important- I comply for the most part

-Important- Infection control is a foundational factor that should only be occasionally ignored

-Somewhat Important- I comply when convenient

-Not Important- It's a disaster and I need to forget about infection control principles


We wanted to gauge the perception of disaster professionals in regards to infection control.  Do some of them completely let their own safety go when treating and rescuing victims?  How much of a student’s education regards infection control as a foundational component?  Has infection control been taught as a necessary measure only when there is time? 


What is your infection control compliance rate (estimated) during a disaster?







Having a concrete range of compliance will give OUTFOX Prevention a good level to gauge future performance of health programs, hygiene lessons and other infection control activities.  We are looking to share these numbers with hospitals, clinics, nursing schools, medical schools and other health organizations so they benchmark their processes.


What have been some of the worst issues you've experienced when infection control was forgotten during a disaster?

Fill in the blank... (i.e. I have suffered a disease, I became ill, someone I know suffered, victims perished due to an infection, etc.)


We are looking to see some interesting stories that can be shared to motivate disaster responders, EMTs, general EMS personnel and other health professionals that may respond to an emergency situation.  Some stories will likely be gruesome to illustrate that infection control is a key component to responding effectively.


What has been your best solution for infection control during a disaster (while maintaining a high standard AND still helping the optimum number of victims)?


Solutions to infection control situations are usually best sourced from professionals that deal with various emergency situations on a daily basis.  Once the survey has concluded, we would like to compile a list of good ideas that can be added to your health classes, first aid courses, simulation situations, core curriculum and other educational opportunities.  Already have some good ideas?  Add them by taking the survey.  Email us your desire to receive the list of check back for a later post.


What are the most underserved areas of disaster and recovery in regards to infection control?  Check 3.

Training for new professionals

Refresher courses

Support during a disaster

New Materials

Innovative Products

Innovative Services
Tracking and Measurement

New Methods/Processes






OUTFOX resources are used in the most efficient possible way, but if there are areas of the health care/Disaster/Infection Control industries that need more attention- we are here to help.  We will check the answers to this question and allocate time, money and attention to getting the best for infection preventionists, disaster responders and other EMS professionals.  We are continually developing more tools, materials and trainings that increase hygiene standards, infection control compliance and other health related initiatives.


What are your preferred sources for continuing education, research and gathering new information in general? Check all that apply.

   Online courses

   Online Newsletters

   List servs


   Small manuals

   Physical Classes

   Tradeshow Seminars

   Expositions (Booths and Exhibitors)

   Association Publications


   News Stories


   Radio Broadcasts


   Training DVDs/CDs

   Guest Speakers


OUTFOX wants to make sure we are taking care of health professionals by developing lessons, manuals, research criteria and other educational tools in the most friendly and convenient way.  We want to optimize the mediums that are preferred.  By doing so, we look to get everyone OUTFOXing illness and disease!  We would appreciate any thoughts you have to help your fellow colleagues progress, and in turn, care more effectively for those affected by disasters.

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