Mass Casualties

A mass casualty event is defined as any event that causes a large number of individuals to become ill or injured and that overwhelms the resources of the healthcare delivery system at that time. These can be natural or man-made. They can have a sudden or a developing impact. Challenges include evacuation, decontamination or quarantine/isolation.

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Community planning is an integral part of this, and includes being proactive, building and maintaining relationships, communicating and exercising plans across disciplines and jurisdictions, and revising plans based on feedback, lessons learned, and changing conditions.

One has to be prepared for confounding factors: loss of services, infrastructure destruction, and supply shortages. Alternate care sites may need to be set up, and altered standards of care may need to be established. Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) and Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams (DMORTs) should be mobilized to assist.






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