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Application of Haddon’s Matrix in the Exploration of Factors Related to Exertional Heat Illness in Disaster Responders in the U.S. National Guard

Abstract

Exertional heat illness (EHI) presents significant risks for National Guard (NG) disaster response teams, especially when they are performing operations in impermeable personal protective equipment (PPE). Impermeable PPE does not allow passage of air or fluids either from the outside or inside of the equipment. While EHI prevention and management strategies are well documented, these strategies do not account for the additional heat-related risks NG teams confront when responding to disasters requiring PPE that protects against any hazards. NG personnel who wear the full gamut of impermeable PPE (including Tyvek coveralls and respirators) experience core body temperature increase as a result of built-up body heat or accumulated perspiration.

We conducted a qualitative descriptive study using thematic analysis with three focus groups to identify EHI-related factors during disaster response operations that require PPE. We organized focus group data into phases of disaster response operation: pre-event, event, and post-event to reflect four conceptual groups: human (host), agent (energy transfer), environmental, and workplace/social conditions. Participants identified 12 themes covering the 3 phases and situated in the 4 conceptual groups. Results of this study serve as an evidence-based foundation for enhancing pre-event, event, and post-event assessments administered by NG medical personnel and can be applied to other professionals who are required to wear PPE.


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Speaker / Author:
Denise A. Smart, MPH, DrPH, RN, Washington State University, College of Nursing
Gail Oneal, PhD, RN, Washington State University, College of Nursing
Mary Lee Roberts, PhD, RN, Washington State University, College of Nursing
Janessa M. Graves, MPH, PhD, Washington State University, College of Nursing
Lindsey Eberman, MS, PhD, Indiana State University, College of Health & Human Services
Tamara Odom-Maryon, PhD, Washington State University, College of Nursing
Stephanie Rowan, MSN, RN, University of Texas Health Science Center
Cory Edwards, MHPA, Washington State University, College of Nursing
Dawn DePriest, MSHS, DNP, FNP-C, ARNP, RN-BC, Washington State University, College of Nursing
Month Year:
April 2022
Volume#:
84.8
Page #:
8-17
Publication Month:
April 2022