Roadblocks to Treatment

With exceptions, such as ornamental horticulture, most agricultural enterprises are carried out in rural areas, far from doctors' offices, clinics, trauma hospitals, and rehabilitation facilities. Many countries, such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and countries in equatorial Africa or Central America, have minimal medical care and may not have facilities to effectively treat farm trauma except in the large cities. Many countries lack any prehospital care at all and the populace may have poor training in first aid (29).

Along with the lack of facilities, many parts of the world lack trained medical personnel and surgeons to effectively treat trauma. Especially important is the "golden hour" in trauma patients, the hour when effective treatment of shock and rapid control of bleeding is so important to the preservation of life and limb (29).

Even in the so-called "wealthy" countries, sheer distances may complicate treatment. For example, in Tulare County, California, it may take an ambulance traveling at high speeds over an hour to reach some remote places. The terrain, lack of effective roads and transportation, and swollen rivers or marshes create roadblocks to obtaining effective medical help. Weather conditions, such as blizzards, ice storms, and floods provide effective barriers to medical transportation.

War presents a major challenge to people in agriculture. Combat places farmworkers in harm's way and at risk for war-related trauma. Blockage of roads, minefields, crowded hospitals, and overworked ambulances result from combat, making it difficult to evacuate and treat farm injuries. In the aftermath of war, unexploded ordnance and landmines maim hundreds, if not thousands, of people on farms each year (30-33).

Many of the roadblocks come down to lack of money and, more important, commitment. The two must go hand in hand because without one, the other will be useless. With a commitment to effective trauma care, professionals can organize a system of evacuation and treatment geared to the local terrain and weather barriers. Professionals can also lobby for money to implement such a program.

0 0

Post a comment