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Journal of Burn Care & Research:
doi: 10.1097/BCR.0b013e318283b7d2
Disaster Planning

Disaster Planning: The Past, Present, and Future Concepts and Principles of Managing a Surge of Burn Injured Patients for those Involved in Hospital Facility Planning and Preparedness

Kearns, Randy D. DHA MSA CEM*; Holmes, James H. MD; Alson, Roy L. PhD, MD; Cairns, Bruce A. MD*

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Abstract

The 9/11 attacks reframed the narrative regarding disaster medicine. Bypass strategies have been replaced with absorption strategies and are more specifically described as “surge capacity.” In the succeeding years, a consensus has coalesced around stratifying the surge capacity into three distinct tiers: conventional, contingency, and crisis surge capacities. For the purpose of this work, these three distinct tiers were adapted specifically to burn surge for disaster planning activities at hospitals where burn centers are not located. A review was conducted involving published plans, other related academic works, and findings from actual disasters as well as modeling. The aim was to create burn-specific definitions for surge capacity for hospitals where a burn center is not located. The three-tier consensus description of surge capacity is delineated in their respective stratifications by what will hereinafter be referred to as the three “S’s”; staff, space, and supplies (also referred to as supplies, pharmaceuticals, and equipment). This effort also included the creation of a checklist for nonburn center hospitals to assist in their development of a burn surge plan. Patients with serious burn injuries should always be moved to and managed at burn centers, but during a medical disaster with significant numbers of burn injured patients, there may be impediments to meeting this goal. It may be necessary for burn injured patients to remain for hours in an outlying hospital until being moved to a burn center. This work was aimed at aiding local and regional hospitals in developing an extemporizing measure until their burn injured patients can be moved to and managed at a burn center(s).

Copyright © 2013 by the American Burn Association

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