FUKUSHIMA Lives on the Line

165chap.IVPatient Relief Activity Records [Essays and Research Publications]FUKUSHIMA: Lives on the LineA message From Fukushima Medical UniversityFigure 4: Onsite at FMU Hospital: Admitting PatientsTemporary beds set up in the hospital entrance area (picture taken March 13)Ambulances on call to transport patients for temporary admittance (picture taken March 21)Figure 5: Collaboration between FMU and the Prefecture to Respond to the Nuclear Accident“A unilateral responseby the university aloneis impossible.”Central government, ministries, and agenciesCities, towns, and villagesHospitalsMedical associationsDMATREMATSelf-Defense Forces(Employees dispatched from FMU)A medical officer for disaster medicine + a medical team(Gathering and organizing information within the prefecture)Single point of contact for inquiries at FMUFukushima PrefectureDisaster ResponseHeadquartersFukushimaMedical UniversityDisaster Response Headquarters(consolidating information and decisions making at FMU)Campus-wide meetings (information sharing)FMU-affiliatedhospitalsSchool ofMedicineSchool ofNursingA system similar to the function of a telephone switchboard was used for patients who could not be easily placed. These patients were first temporarily admitted into other medical institutions. After triage, the patients were transferred to other institutions or nursing care facilities. Clearly, this system will be effective during future disasters.3) Handling RumorsImmediately after the nuclear accident, the presidents of Nagasaki University (a secondary radiation treatment institution) and Hiroshima University (a tertiary radiation treatment institution) were requested to serve as visiting risk communication experts on behalf of FMU, Fukushima Prefecture, and Fukushima’s citizens. Using the functional phrase “appropriate alarm,” communication and education efforts were carried out to actively inform university faculty, prefectural authorities, and hub hospitals. These efforts provided peace of mind and reduced trauma.Part of the collateral damage at the university was new students withdrawing due to rumors and speculation. To address a large numbers of these students, an emergency press conference was called upon to explain the state of affairs in Fukushima.Six months after the accident, a conference for international experts, titled “Radiation and Health Risks: Considering the Case of Fukushima through the Eyes of International Experts,” was held on-campus by the Nippon Foundation. This conference brought under one roof specialists such as radiologists and radiation protection experts among others from 14 countries and two international medical associations. The post-conference announcements and the hours-long press conference (held until all audience questions were exhausted) elevated the understanding and knowledge of media organizations.4) Collaboration with Partner Institutionsa) FMU and Fukushima PrefectureUnlike the Japan Self-Defense Forces, FMU is not a fully autonomous, self-sufficient entity. Thus, FMU