Justification for a Nuclear Global Health Workforce: Multidisciplinary analysis of risk, survivability & preparedness, with emphasis on the triage management of thermal burns

Frederick M. Burkle, Tom Potokar, James E. Gosney, Cham Dallas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Major challenges and crises in global health will not be solved by health alone; requiring rather a multidisciplinary, evidence-based analytical approach to prevention, preparedness and response. One such potential crisis is the continued spread of nuclear weapons to more nations concurrent with the increased volatility of international relations that has significantly escalated the risk of a major nuclear weapon exchange. This study argues for the development of a multidisciplinary global health response agenda based on the reality of the current political analysis of nuclear risk, research evidence suggesting higher-than-expected survivability risk, and the potential for improved health outcomes based on medical advances. To date, the medical consequences of such an exchange are not credibly addressed by any nation at this time, despite recent advances. While no one country could mount such a response, an international body of responders organized in the same fashion as the current World Health Organization's global health workforce initiative for large-scale natural and public health emergencies could enlist and train for just such an emergency. A Nuclear Global Health Workforce is described for addressing the unprecedented medical and public health needs to be expected in the event of a nuclear conflict or catastrophic accident. The example of addressing mass casualty nuclear thermal burns outlines the potential triage and clinical response management of survivors enabled by this global approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13
JournalConflict and Health
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

Keywords

  • Emergency medical teams
  • Global Health workforce
  • Nuclear thermal burns
  • Nuclear war
  • Triage
  • World Health Organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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