Emergency & Disaster Medicine
What We Do › Emergency & Disaster Medicine
“In reality, everything turned out to be much simpler than it seemed. My biggest surprise was that by the end of the first day I was able to perform procedures that I used to consider extremely complicated. I believe my colleagues at work, and the city in general, would benefit from such skills. The need for this sort of EMS training is enormous.”
Viktor Smirnov, head engineer of the technical shift at Volga Regional Hydraulic Station, who attended an EMS workshop in Dubna, Russia, organized by AIHA’s Communities for International Development project.
In emergency situations, life or death is often determined within the first few minutes of a crisis. The medical knowledge and expertise of first-responders coupled with a reliable emergency response infrastructure can make a critical difference when an unexpected illness, accident, or widespread disaster occurs.
According to WHO, death rates due to accidents and cardiac incidents are roughly three times greater in Central Europe and the nations of the former Soviet Union than in the United States. A lack of well trained first-responders, together with a relatively weak emergency response infrastructure, greatly contributes to these high mortality rates. As a result, many countries in the region have made improving pre-hospital and hospital-based emergency care a key priority of their health system reform efforts.
Since 1993, AIHA has been working with governments and healthcare institutions in the region to create sustainable capacity to effectively respond to emergencies ranging from routine medical cases and traumas to disasters involving mass causalities. Through our Emergency and Disaster Medicine Program, partners are increasing the target nations’ ability to provide quality training and education in emergency and disaster medicine and improve knowledge and skills in first aid and emergency care among first-responders and clinicians.
AIHA’s efforts to improve emergency medicine and disaster preparedness through specific programmatic activities include:
Emergency Medical Services Training Centers
With the goal of creating sustainable capacity to effectively respond to emergencies ranging from routine medical cases to disasters involving mass casualties, AIHA and its partners have established national Emergency Medical Services Training Centers (EMSTCs) throughout the Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. These centers have a uniform curriculum designed specifically to fit into the existing structure of healthcare systems in the region. Read more...
Pediatric Emergency Medical Services in Georgia
Operating within the framework of the Tbilisi/Atlanta partnership, AIHA, along with Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, provided technical assistance to the Central Children's Hospital of Tbilisi in support of their efforts to establish the first modern pediatric emergency room in the South Caucasus Region. Read more...
Communities for International Development
In 2005 AIHA and World Services of La Crosse (Wisconsin) received funding to implement health-related trainings developed through the successful partnership programs AIHA has been facilitating in Russia over the past 13 years. Through the Communities for International Development project, nine pairs of US-Russian sister cities are working together to improve specific healthcare service delivery issues that present major concerns to their communities, including emergency and disaster medicine. Read more...
Emergency and Disaster Medicine Information Resources
Disseminating accurate, timely information rooted in evidence-based practices and sharing successful models and lessons learned plays an important role in AIHA’s strategy for sustainable healthcare programs. For more information about emergency medical services, please visit the following links: