New strategies for hospitals during mass casualty incidents

April 20, 2018, Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A community's ability to cope with mass casualty incidents (MCIs) is very dependent on the capacity and capability of its hospitals for handling a sudden surge of patients requiring resource-intensive and specialized needs.

In a recent paper published by the Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness journal, authors Mersedeh TariVerdi, Elise Miller-Hooks from George Mason University, and Thomas Kirsch, from National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, presented a whole-hospital simulation model to replicate medical staff, resources and space to investigate hospital responsiveness to MCIs. Using simulation software designed experiments were conducted to measure functionality and impact and transient system behavior. Diversion of to alternative facilities and modified triage were also investigated. Several important conclusions were made from these analyses;

1) response capability can depend on patient arrival pattern and injury types. Regional response planning can help a hospital with this. 2) Trauma level I hospitals could provide more space in the Emergency Department and Operating Rooms by increasing the number of beds in an internal general ward, whereas a trauma level III hospital could provide a better response by increasing the capacity of the .

The suggested strategies for expanding capacities were found to have a superlative effect overall especially when combined.

According to Dr. Kirsch "recent mass-casualty incidents, like the mass shooting in Las Vegas with over 500 casualties, has demonstrated the importance of improving preparedness for these events. Perhaps more important is to use these models to help prepare an entire municipal healthcare system because few individual hospitals can care for more than a couple dozen acutely injured people."

Dr. Miller-Hooks reports that "the George Mason team (TariVerdi and Miller-Hooks) is currently studying the effectiveness of formalized collaboration strategies through which resources, including staff and supplies, can be shared across hospitals. We believe such measures can be crucial to patient welfare in MCIs of such [Las Vegas] magnitude."

Explore further: US healthcare system needs coordinated response to potential pediatric pandemics

More information: Mersedeh TariVerdi et al, Strategies for Improved Hospital Response to Mass Casualty Incidents, Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness (2018). DOI: 10.1017/dmp.2018.4

Related Stories

US healthcare system needs coordinated response to potential pediatric pandemics

March 5, 2018
Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) have identified gaps in the United States healthcare system that make it inadequately prepared for the surge in pediatric patients that could result from an infectious ...

How can hospitals possibly prepare for disasters? With practice and planning

June 15, 2016
The tragic shooting in Orlando brought dozens of victims to emergency rooms. Now, several of those people have been admitted and are clinging to life. Many across the nation are praying for them and other victims. Without ...

Effective local medical response to New Zealand earthquake helped reduce deaths and burden of injury

April 15, 2012
Just over a year after an earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, on February 22, 2011, injuring over 6500 people and killing 182 in the first 24 hours, an analysis of the initial medical response highlights how careful ...

A large-scale 'germ trap' solution for hospitals

July 26, 2017
When an infectious airborne illness strikes, some hospitals use negative pressure rooms to isolate and treat patients. These rooms use ventilation controls to keep germ-filled air contained rather than letting it circulate ...

Scientists launch advanced disaster planning and flu forecasting apps

February 11, 2014
Johns Hopkins scientists have developed three new Web-based software tools designed to help hospital emergency departments, first responder organizations and others model and prepare for major disasters, including flu outbreaks.

Recommended for you

Widespread declines in life expectancy across high income countries coincide with rising young adult, midlife mortality

August 15, 2018
The ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States is a key contributor to the most recent declines in life expectancy, suggests a study published by The BMJ today.

Parental life span predicts daughters living to 90 without chronic disease or disability

August 15, 2018
Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that women whose mothers lived to at least age 90 were more likely to also live to 90, free of serious diseases and disabilities.

Diets high in vegetables and fish may lower risk of multiple sclerosis

August 15, 2018
People who consume a diet high in vegetables and fish may have a reduced risk of multiple sclerosis, new research led by Curtin University has found.

Can sleeping too much lead to an early death?

August 15, 2018
A recent study in the Journal of the American Heart Association has led to headlines that will make you rethink your Saturday morning sleep in.

Mixing energy drinks with alcohol could enhance the negative effects of binge drinking

August 14, 2018
A key ingredient of energy drinks could be exacerbating some of the negative effects of binge drinking according to a new study.

New study finds fake, low-quality medicines prevalent in the developing world

August 10, 2018
A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that substandard and falsified medicines, including medicines to treat malaria, are a serious problem in much of the world. In low- and middle-income ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.