87th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 4:00 PM
Toward weather/health education in online CPR classes
206B (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Margaret Lynn Fowke, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD
As weather and climate changes continue to occur, increased medical and public health issues will emerge. Hospital and clinics are currently operating at full capacity and additional victims from weather events place an increasing strain on already overburdened medical system. From increased asthma, melanoma, heat/cold related illnesses and recent medical issues associated with Hurricane Katrina, the educational needs of the medical community will increase. NOAA's National Weather Service historic and current forecasts have tremendous benefits as an aid in preventive healthcare and medical planning.

Since annual and/or bi-annual attendance in online or traditional CPR classes is a nationwide requirement for medical professionals, there is ample opportunity to work with several medical professionals from several local hospital/clinics during one class. The addition of many regional weather/health connections to online and traditional CPR classes is being reviewed by American Red Cross Headquarter. NWS forecasts with health connections are identified, such as heat/cold advisories, hurricane, rip currents etc. as well as weather/health connections for medical participants who travel to disaster relief areas. NWS forecast information is presented by a professional NWS/NOAA meteorologist using a CD or in-person presentation with follow-up as needed to meet needs of medical staff. Enhanced/advanced applications using hospital case studies are provided on medical educational websites such as American Hospital Association, Society of Hospital Medicine, Surgeon Generals Medical Reserve Corps and Agency for Healthcare Quality & Research, National Naval Medical Center Grand Rounds and Naval Medical Center 1st/2nd year medical curricula. The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation is reviewing to develop online health courses for meteorologists.

As medical participants are educated on basics of interpreting weather forecast data to add/reduce staff, make critical decisions to evacuate critical patients before losing power and many other medical applications, the meteorology community also benefits as it develops weather forecasts to promote cost-effective use of medical resources.

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