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Terror in Tenerife: Flights KLM 4805 and PAA 1736. A tragedy impossible



CATASTROPHE: it is an unfortunate event that alters seriously the regular order of things and is synonymous with catastrophe and disaster.

disasters are classified as:

- NATURAL : geological, climatic, biological and Animals.

- TECHNOLOGY: Fires, Flooding, traffic accidents and rail accidents.

-AIR: Naval and Submarine.

- WAR: bombing, chemical action, Nuclear, invasion of a country and Minefields ...

- SOCIAL : Terrorism social, Hunger, Abductions and Revueltas.

In the different types of disasters are numerous factors that can promote the event (mechanical failures, geology, climatology, etc.), However there is a differential element among all these, and that element is the action of man. May be indirect, for example, in a plane crash, there may be mechanical causes of the aircraft, which has not been properly reviewed by the mechanics, or a misreading of the charts or NOT MEET THE INSTRUCTIONS OF A TOWER CONTROL. Traditionally

disasters are defined by four criteria :

- 1. A grim destructive event (usually sudden and brutal);
- 2. With large numbers of casualties (killed, wounded, shocked, burned, etc.).
- 3. With major property destruction;
- 4. Exceeding (or at least fully occupied) means
local relief - and L. Crocq adds a fifth criterion , perhaps essential, "causing major social disruption."

In any disaster, regardless of the consequences for individuals, society as a whole, is affected in its physiology of great body, injured in their organization and collective life. On the other hand, each individual is affected not only his "personal self", original and unique, but also their sense of belonging to the community in their "social self."

addition to the destruction and somatic injuries, disasters cause a shock and mandatory - though it may be transient - a psychic injury. In this sense, it can be argued that all disaster victims, injured survivors without somatic or physical injury, are "psychological injuries" and should be treated. You can also occur as witnesses, not directly affected by the disaster, families and friends who come to the rescue and even responders, social services, medical staff and organizers, also suffer a shock generator more or less severe symptoms, annoying and durable. Noto proposed the term "involved" to designate this group of families and staff closely involved in the disaster.

In Tenerife radio stations called blood and help, without saying more, and many came without knowing exactly what to do or who to turn, the confusion was total. Still transfers, blood donations and medical aid and individuals were made quickly and efficiently. The 68 survivors, all wounded, were taken to hospitals on the island, of which nine died of wounds. Tenerife village solidarity was remarkable and immediate cooperation of the medical establishment. Physicians still had more work in the reservoirs of the wounded, as though they were taken to hospitals in them almost no one spoke English, and not take any information that there is consistency. The wounded were identified through a plaster on his forehead with a number and were evacuated by the Pan Am before 48 hours back to their country of origin. So much less one would expect such a performance standard speech to a catastrophe.

Very little information comes from the mental condition of the wounded, as we said, no record of it was collected or the psychiatric service intervened, was assumed to be an entirely physical and as such no implications or relevant actions at the level of "crisis intervention" described today.

Although not found in the sources I spoke in libraries and data on air traffic controller, I suspect passed a stress specific responsibility on doctors, nurses and air traffic controllers, or possibly a depression situated. Later due to pressure and suspected that was the victim, she experienced post-traumatic stress syndrome.

After a trauma, and contemplating the human individuality will see the subject get into a series of stages in which it would seem that their vitality after the event has faded, these are:

- Phase shock or stress reaction normal. Mobilizes

biological and physiological processes now well known: the release of endorphins, increases immune defenses, cascading of information and orders - via nervous or humoral pathway - between the sensory organs, the cerebral cortex, midbrain centers, autonomic nervous system, pituitary, adrenal and physiological effectors.

Besides these physiological aspects, the psychiatrist must know even the psychological aspects of stress reaction: stress focuses attention, mobilizes energy and encourages action.
The normal stress response is a useful reaction, adaptive, which inspires the individual decisions and behaviors conducive to shield from danger or to assist others to avoid it.

- phase of inhibition or abnormal stress reaction.

are distinguished four reactions:

The first is the reaction of sideration, leaving the individual perplexed from the cognitive perspective, in a stupor from the standpoint of emotional and paralyzed from the standpoint of motor.

The second is the uncoordinated and sterile agitation.

The third is the flight in panic, in which the individual is also the release of excessive mental tension unbearable impulsive action.

The fourth reaction, less well known but most common is Automatic action: the individual in a state of shock and bewilderment is unable to deliberate to choose the best solution and runs like a robot's gestures and sequences of gestures that happen spontaneously or copies of their neighbors.

- Restoration Phase:

The most common psychopathology, experienced as a reaction to a catastrophic event, is the posttraumatic stress disorder (DSM-IV-TR F 43.1 ) American name, formerly called traumatic neurosis, the most characteristic symptoms of a very didactic summarizes the Professor Alonso-Fernández these being the:

a) Alexithymia (apathy or disinterest, loss of expression of emotions, detachment from others)

b) reliving the trauma (memory-related repetitive trauma , nightmares with the same subject) and

c) sympathicotonia (tachycardia, sweating, insomnia).

Apparently the condition is more serious and lasting when the stressor is of human origin. As
associated symptoms is easy to find symptoms of anxiety, depression. There is an increase in irritability may be associated with sporadic and unpredictable explosions of aggressive behavior under pressure with minimal or even without them.

The handicap may be slight or affect virtually every aspect of your life. Phobic avoidance of situations or activities that resemble or symbolize the original trauma, resulting in a disability employment or recreation. Besides the emotional anesthesia may interfere with family life and partner.

Different countries have created "medical / emergency teams" to act immediately on the site of the disaster, adapting North American debriefing procedures (Or psychological examination of the event) and specialist consultations were held in traumatology. This reflects the interest in specific problems and responding to needs that were not previously covered by health systems.

In the moments that happen in a crisis situation, the proper intervention of medical equipment can help reduce the effects of "trauma" that may occur. The performance of any subject on the stage of the crisis getting mitigate or modulate the consequences of the event. When the patient's physical condition is stable, and emergency relief measures have been accomplished, the act must enter psychosocial measures, which are important for a number of key recommendations:

. Let mourn.
. Give hot drinks.
. Bring blankets.
. Physical contact (hugging, shaking hands).
. Language reassuring.
. Give messages of support and encouragement to those affected, with the intent to influence their mood (without denying the reality or hide).
. Reassure stakeholders on the status of other injured.
. Show understanding.
. Stimulating the talk (despite the crying, screaming, etc..).

Based on the model "crisis intervention" of Slaikeu Kart, highlights the to follow in the psychological intervention:

. Immediacy : As soon as symptoms appear.
. Near : What nearest the scene.
. Expectation : Helping the injured to understand that living a normal reaction to an irregular event.
. Simplicity : short, simple therapeutic methods.

I subtitle this paper as A TRAGEDY IMPOSSIBLE because:


b) The PAA 1736 was instructed to move by the runway, leave it to reach the third exit on your left, saw no way out ... due to heavy fog ENTERED IN THE FOURTH PLACE OUT IN THE THIRD .


d) All crew, captain, copilot and flight engineer, heed not an INDICATION OF NOT REMOVE, clinging to a pronounced OK by the controller to give the nod to an instruction after takeoff. Y, HEAR, HEAR WHAT YOU WANT.

From this terrible tragedy, one of the most notable consequences of work is changing aviation phraseology used the word off, unless explicit authorization for takeoff.
This catastrophe was not written to the destination. The line, changed the hand of a terrorist act on a sister island ignorant of the consequences of his evil intent.

Once again, we must remember and quote the Roman poet Plautus (third century BC) who wrote "homo homini lupus" Man is wolf to man.

Silió Jaime Velarde, retired pilot of Iberia, was commissioned then to take charge of the official investigation, specialized on behalf of the English pilots' association in the air accident investigation, had studied at the University of Southern California.

In a recent interview (Sunday January 9, 2005) that granted the newspaper El Dia de Tenerife extract:

What were the first steps in research?

That I was very clear. Sketches, photographs, drawings of the main wreckage ... as soon as possible, second, address the situation and respond to what should the international association of pilots to make myself available affected crew, who was in the hospital.

Did hindrance to the investigation or pressure?

The situation in Spain was extremely difficult, because the structure belonged to the Air Force, I actually called the general Franco Iribarne Garai and was very brave, because he ordered the investigation to the U.S., where it took place. I showed my availability and sought the truth. All proud.

And where was the blame?

in a plane crash there is no single cause and no one is to blame, but an accumulation of causes and perpetrators. The truth is that there was a responsibility the KLM pilot. One of the most prestigious and pioneering companies in Europe.

1DR. Miguel Pérez-Camacho Duque . Psychiatrist, Director of the Canary Institute of Psychiatry ( ICAPSI). President of the English Society of Social Psychiatry and Psychopathology ( SEPPS ). BIBLIOGRAPHY

• Alonso-Fernandez, F. The New Addiction. Occupational stress: its types and consequences.
• Alonso-Fernandez, F. Highlights of the Depression.
• Alonso-Fernandez, F. Fundamentals of Current Psychiatry, Volume II, 3 rd Edition.
• DSM-IV-TR. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 2002.
• Harold I. Kaplan, Benjamin J. Sadock. Synopsis of Psychiatry.
• L. Crocq, C. Doutheau, P. Louville and D. Cremniter. French Surgical Medical Encyclopedia Psychiatry.
• War Montero, José Manuel. Psychological intervention in war disaster. SOURCES

• Andrada Félix, Claude. Journalist of "THE DAY" in Tenerife.
• Dr. Besada Estévez, Carlos. Head of Anesthesiology at the Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria.
• Professor Sierra López, Antonio. Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of La Laguna and Director General of Health at that time.


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