ColonelJan18

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Published on February 28, 2008

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Combat and Disaster Psychiatry Today: From the Battle Front to the Home Front :  Combat and Disaster Psychiatry Today: From the Battle Front to the Home Front Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, MD, MPH COL, MC Psychiatry Consultant to the US Army Surgeon General Elspeth.Ritchie@us.army.mil General Topics:  General Topics A Brief History of Combat Psychiatry Deployment stresses in Iraq Re-integration home Surveillance Assessment of Disasters Disaster Behaviors Basic Principles of Early Intervention The Way Ahead A Brief History of Combat Stress:  A Brief History of Combat Stress High rate of stress casualties in all wars World War I--“shell shock”, over evacuation led to chronic psychiatric conditions, lessons learned World War II--ineffective pre-screening, “battle fatigue”, lessons relearned, 3 hots and a cot “PIES” (proximity, immediacy, expectancy, simplicity) “3 hots and a cot” The Korean War:  The Korean War Used lessons from WW I and II Many similarities to today He is the average American boy, just under 20, who was pulled from his malted milks and basketball scores to be wounded in Korea.:  He is the average American boy, just under 20, who was pulled from his malted milks and basketball scores to be wounded in Korea. Back Down the Ridge, WL White After three days of such treatment…one lanky mountain boy, who had arrived trembling and sobbing that he could never go back, sat silent for a minute. Then he stood up. “Hell,” he said, “I guess somebody’s got to fight this god-damned war,” picked up his rifle and started trudging back up the trail toward the sound of the guns. :  After three days of such treatment…one lanky mountain boy, who had arrived trembling and sobbing that he could never go back, sat silent for a minute. Then he stood up. “Hell,” he said, “I guess somebody’s got to fight this god-damned war,” picked up his rifle and started trudging back up the trail toward the sound of the guns. Back Down the Ridge History:  History Vietnam Drug and alcohol use Misconduct Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Desert Storm/Shield “Persian Gulf illnesses” Medically unexplained physical symptoms Questions about exposures to toxins Operations Other than War:  Operations Other than War Front line mental health treatment—PIES worked—in general, few combat stress reactions* Somalia Haiti Saudi Arabia Cuba Balkans Combat and operational stress control teams *Dear John, or Jane, letters still caused problems add a shower to the 3 hots 9/11:  9/11 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Reaction of fear to traumatic event Range of symptoms Nightmares, flashbacks, hypervigilance, numbing, disassociation Often co-morbid with other symptoms anxiety, depression, substance abuse Range of Deployment-Related Stress Reactions*:  Range of Deployment-Related Stress Reactions* Irritability, bad dreams, sleeplessness Difficulty connecting to families, employers Behavioral difficulties domestic violence, substance abuse, “road rage”, suicidal, homicidal behavior misconduct Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) “Compassion fatigue” Suicide Homicide *may also occur in those non-deployed Slide12:  Operation Iraqi Freedom Initial questions about weapons of mass destruction Rapid optempo Strain on families Continual danger for troops Initial Mental Health Issues in Iraq:  Initial Mental Health Issues in Iraq Significant forward mental health presence Dangers of travel Troops not always able to travel to meet with practitioners Question of a suicide cluster Psychiatric evacuations from theater Medical/surgical evacuations from theater Mental Health Assessment Team Report 1:  Mental Health Assessment Team Report 1 Data collected by 12 person team fall 2003 Report released spring 2004 Covered morale, service delivery, access to mental health--deficiencies found The Ongoing Insurgency:  The Ongoing Insurgency Extended deployment Increasing personal threats The scandal from Abu Ghraib Repeated deployments Casualties on all sides Mental Health Assessment Team II:  Mental Health Assessment Team II Deployed back to Kuwait/Iraq in August 2004 Principle mission to focus on whether recommended changes had been implemented Report issued July 2005 improvements made MHAT III, OEF MHAT pending Back Home:  Back Home Preparation for the return Educational briefings given Emerging data Risky Behaviors Increased accidents, domestic violence, substance abuse, Post-Deployment Health Re-Assessment (PDHRA):  Post-Deployment Health Re-Assessment (PDHRA) “Honeymoon” period 90 to 180 days following deployment Active duty and reserve component Emphasis on behavioral health Implementation plan complex and Back Again....:  and Back Again.... Soldiers and Marines returning into theater for second or third time How does that effect connections with families? At what point do you not send Soldiers back into theater because of PTSD? Issues of contagion, epidemic, malingering Relationship to/between DoD, VA civilian providers High-Risk Populations:  High-Risk Populations Wounded service members and their families Psychiatrically ill patients Families of the deceased Medical staff and other highly exposed personnel (eg chaplains, mortuary affairs, casualty assistance officers) Isolated Reserve component Wounded Service Members:  Wounded Service Members In the past, mental health issues often overlooked Initial euphoria about being alive Robust DS3 program for severely wounded at tertiary facilities New prostheses markedly improve functioning May be succeeded by depression over loss of function, dependence on others Transition to home a high risk period Long-term support needed Traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients will need special attention may first present to psychiatry, primary care Traumatic Brain Injury:  Traumatic Brain Injury “Signature wound” of this war Evaluated in severely wounded; may be missed in others May present to primary care, psychiatry, ER Symptoms of: irritability, difficulty concentrating, relationship, job difficulties PTSD confounds picture Screen for veteran status, exposure to blast Families of the Deceased:  Families of the Deceased Almost 1,600 deceased Casualty affairs officers provide assistance Approximately 900 children have lost a parent Many families leave military housing and community Vet centers offering assistance Working on outreach to these families Psychiatrically ill patients:  Psychiatrically ill patients Severely ill evacuated from theater If they get to Landstuhl, few return Now few inappropriate evacuations Clinicians reporting sicker patients Medical board system over-extended Standards for soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Challenges for Highly Exposed Personnel:  Challenges for Highly Exposed Personnel Medical personnel, chaplains, Mortuary affairs, casualty assistance officers Face secondary trauma, “compassion fatigue” Frequent deployments High exposure to severely wounded Threat of personal danger May be hard to re-integrate with family, colleagues “who have not been there” May not want to seek treatment Strategies:  Strategies Combat and Operational Stress Control Prevention, outreach, therapy “therapy by walking around” Treatment Many effective treatments for PTSD, anxiety, depression New treatment guidelines available DoD-VA, APA Post-deployment health guidelines Primary care should have central role Other low-stigma easy access portals needed Solutions—In Progress:  Solutions—In Progress Deployment Cycle Support Military One Source Community based health care organizations (CBHCOs) Liaison with the VA Post-Deployment Health Re-Assessment National education campaign Partner with HHS (SAMSHA, NIMH) The professional societies, schools Academics Slide29:  RESET Program ? Combat is only One of the Stressors - Since 9/11:  Combat is only One of the Stressors - Since 9/11 Anthrax cases West Nile virus Operation Enduring Freedom Local News (ie. Sniper attacks in DC area) Operation Iraqi Freedom Poison gas in Moscow SARS Tsunami Katrina/Rita Pandemic/bird flu? We are all tired… Reasons to do an Assessment :  Reasons to do an Assessment Develop strategic plan Reports to command, families, media Apportion resources Target interventions To Not Do Stupid Stuff Type of Event:  Type of Event Natural disaster Flood, hurricane, earthquake, Tornado, tsunami Man-made disaster Accident, combination Terrorist event Complex humanitarian emergency War/occupation US soldiers Local nationals CBRNE Events Needs Assessment :  Needs Assessment Individual Group Population Theme: Steel on Target The Basics First Assessment of Physical Needs:  The Basics First Assessment of Physical Needs Numbers affected Shelter Food Wounds/Illnesses Infectious Disease Medications Available Fuel Heat Cooking Continued violence Mass fatalities Assessment of Mental Health Needs:  Assessment of Mental Health Needs Vulnerable populations Previously mentally ill Wounded Bereaved Tortured Medications Hospital Beds General Psychiatric Dead bodies generally not infectious disease risk, but are psychological toxins How to Assess Mental Health Needs:  How to Assess Mental Health Needs Try to gain as much information as possible before departure to affected site On the ground assessment usually necessary Avoid “windshield survey” Survey/ talk to Schools Hospitals Clergy Community leaders Shelters Psychometric assessments Utility? Assessment of Mental Health Resources:  Assessment of Mental Health Resources Personnel Traditional mental health workers Red Cross Crisis counselors Others Crisis counseling centers Clinics/Hospitals Medications Psychiatric Medical Language/culture Local vs “outsider” Assessment Needs to be On-going:  Assessment Needs to be On-going “Honeymoon” period common following disasters When attention and media leave, often physical and psychological needs surface Feelings of bitterness, abandonment, anger at government Clean-up period Tedious, may still be dangerous International Issues:  International Issues Complex humanitarian emergencies Displaced populations Migrants, refugees Steps to do a Physical Assessment well-established www.sphere.org Assessment of mental health needs Science is not there yet Consider War, Trauma and Violence by Joop de Jong WHO documents available on web Learning from tsunami, earthquake Assessment Issues Chemical/Biological Agents:  Assessment Issues Chemical/Biological Agents Numbers of exposed Numbers potentially exposed Infectivity of living and dead Numbers presenting for care Numbers not presenting for care? Quarantine issues Economic fall-out Psychological Effects of CBRNE Agent Characteristics:  Psychological Effects of CBRNE Agent Characteristics Invisible, odorless Ubiquitous symptoms Uncertainty Novelty (Unfamiliarity) Grotesqueness Disaster Behaviors:  Disaster Behaviors Getting out of the train or out of the way of the wave Panic vs organized behavior Family vs. Mission—for the first responders “Which Direction Do You Run?” Social Disarray-- No rules, looting, “Who gets the lifeboats?” Or antibiotics or vaccines or gas masks or food Sensory overload Dead bodies, mass destruction Psychiatric Issues--Acute:  Psychiatric Issues--Acute Stress as reaction to terrorism Additional fear of unknown w CBRNE Have I been exposed? May be worried but not well Changes in mental status secondary to agents Medical triage Triage in, or triage out? Quarantine, reverse isolation Possible new terms: social contact, shielding, home quarantine, “snow day” Loss, grief Underreactions:psychological denial, fatalism Psychiatric Issues--Long term :  Psychiatric Issues--Long term Depression Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Somatic symptoms Overreactions, eg obsessive concern w decontamination, hoarding protective equipment Anger at government Multiple unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) Economic fall-out may lead to collapse of tourism, flight of business, job loss Unemployment traditionally linked to domestic violence, suicide Evidence Based Key Principles of Early Intervention:  Evidence Based Key Principles of Early Intervention Psychological Debriefings:  Psychological Debriefings Concern that they may be doing more harm than good Vicarious re-traumatization Major conference Oct 2001 NIMH book “Mass Violence and Early Intervention” Sept 2002 “Aircraft carrier turning around” Basic Needs:  Basic Needs Safety/Security/Survival Food and Shelter Orientation Communication with family, friends and community Psychological First Aid :  Psychological First Aid Support for distressed Keep families together Facilitate reunion with loved ones Provide information/foster communication/education Protect from further harm Reduce physiological arousal Monitoring the recovery environment :  Monitoring the recovery environment Observe and listen to the affected Monitor the environment for toxins Monitor past and ongoing threats Monitor services that are provided Outreach/Information Dissemination :  Outreach/Information Dissemination “Therapy by walking around” Using established community structures Flyers Websites Technical Assistance/ Consultation/Training :  Technical Assistance/ Consultation/Training To relevant organizations To other caregivers, responders To leaders Fostering Resilience/Recovery:  Fostering Resilience/Recovery Social interactions Coping skills training Education about stress response Group and family interventions Fostering natural social support Looking after the bereaved Repair organizational fabric Operational debriefings, when standing procedure in responder organizations Triage :  Triage Clinical Assessment Referral when indicated Identify vulnerable/high risk individuals/groups Emergency hospitalization Treatment :  Treatment Individual/family therapy Group psychotherapy Pharmacotherapy Spiritual support Hospitalization * *Major disasters/war disrupt flow of psychiatric medications Interventions for CBRNE:  Interventions for CBRNE Successful Medical response bolsters the sense of safety Early detection Successful management of casualties Effective treatments Critical importance of good risk communication The Pentagon Family Assistance Center:  The Pentagon Family Assistance Center The Sheraton in Crystal City Extended family, children Most lived there for a month Services Informational briefings Red Cross Department of Justice, FBI Counseling Childcare recreation Medical care DNA collection Operation Unified Assistance The Tsunami:  Operation Unified Assistance The Tsunami Slide58:  Project Hope/USNS Mercy Operation Unified Assistance Tsunami Relief Mission Focus on Mercy Project Hope Task Force:  Focus on Mercy Project Hope Task Force Mercy deployed to provide sustenance s/p tsunami Project Hope provided civilian providers to work LTG Peake (ret), MG Timboe (ret), BG Bester (ret) provided leadership Large contingent from Mass General Hospital We provided “just in time” training on the Comfort Mixed levels of disaster experience Slide60:  INTERNATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS DURING DISASTERS - “The Fog of Relief” Affected Country Requirements NGO Red Cross USG Other Donors DONOR NGO DONOR UN Coord and Agencies UNICEF WFP UNDP NGO NGO NGO ICRC UNHCR USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance First Responder Issues:  First Responder Issues Chain of command often unclear; evolving Traditionally first responders under-prepared Dealing with dead bodies, helplessness Caring for orphans, exploited/abused children High risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression and other behavioral health manifestations data from Rwanda, 9/11, other disasters Difficulty re-connecting with families, employers Can preparation/stress inoculation mitigate? Critical importance of morale, cohesion, and communication Lessons Learned:  Lessons Learned Some found just in training helpful, others did not Difficulties with civilian-military interface Some staff underutilized, some overworked Security issues ship terrorist target? getting ashore Communication back home difficult Psychosocial issues on land overwhelming Overall high sense of satisfaction Challenges to doing research in disasters Katrina Behavioral Health Issues:  Katrina Behavioral Health Issues Chronically mentally ill off medications Note: psychiatric medications not in stockpile Displaced psychiatrists and populations Volunteers needed, but not enough patients for New Orleans doctors Issues of housing, transportation Louisiana National Guard All flooded to the “crash site” Importance of pets Long term issues of “diaspora” Questions or Comments?:  Questions or Comments? Elspeth.Ritchie@amedd.army.mil

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