Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Whether Quake Disaster Or Terrorist Threat, Hospitals Can Safely Evacuate Patients

Date:
April 9, 2003
Source:
University Of California - Irvine
Summary:
In the event of a significant threat to their buildings and facilities, hospitals can successfully evacuate patients and staff without relying on outside assistance, a UC Irvine study found.

Irvine, Calif., April 7, 2003 -- In the event of a significant threat to their buildings and facilities, hospitals can successfully evacuate patients and staff without relying on outside assistance, a UC Irvine study found.

Related Articles


The study, which appears in the April 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, also suggests that in the aftermath of a severely damaging earthquake or similarly devastating terrorist event, the biggest risk to hospitals isn't structural integrity, but non-structural damage like water leaks and electrical outages. The findings include basic steps for responding to a bioterrorist attack on a medical facility.

Dr. Carl Schultz, professor of emergency medicine, and his colleagues reached their conclusion after surveying Los Angeles County hospital reactions to the 1994 Northridge earthquake -- a moderate but very damaging earthquake. In the Los Angeles area, about 12,500 structures suffered significant damage. Of the 66,546 buildings inspected, 6 percent were severely damaged and 17 percent were moderately damaged.

"We conducted this study in 1996, shortly after the earthquake, to see how hospitals responded to the temblor," said Schultz, who was at UCLA at the time of the survey. Schultz found that of the eight hospitals that had to evacuate, most did so because of water leaks and electrical problems and not because of imminent collapse. "Each of these hospitals evacuated their facility safely and quickly," he said. "Facilities around the country can use this to help prepare for other types of disasters, such as terrorism."

Schultz and his colleagues found that of the hospitals in Los Angeles County that evacuated staff and patients, none had adverse problems with patients due to the move. In addition, Schultz' team found that hospitals could evacuate large numbers of patients without assistance from a county or state emergency operations center, other than providing vehicles for patient transport. While some hospitals did rely on the emergency operations center to coordinate evacuation, others functioned independently. There was no difference in outcomes for hospitals using either strategy.

"Sometimes these centers can get overwhelmed, especially in the minutes or hours after disaster strikes," Schultz said. "At least temporarily, the hospitals can work without them, but only as long as they have a backup plan for treating patients outside a hospital setting -- sometimes, literally outside. Obviously, it is best to try and coordinate the evacuation process with the emergency operations center. But sometimes this is not possible or practical. Our study demonstrated hospitals can evacuate their patients safely without assistance from the center."

Schultz, an emergency room physician and disaster medicine specialist at UCI Medical Center in Orange, is an internationally recognized authority in medical responses to disasters, including earthquakes and acts of terrorism.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Irvine. "Whether Quake Disaster Or Terrorist Threat, Hospitals Can Safely Evacuate Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030409075317.htm>.
University Of California - Irvine. (2003, April 9). Whether Quake Disaster Or Terrorist Threat, Hospitals Can Safely Evacuate Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030409075317.htm
University Of California - Irvine. "Whether Quake Disaster Or Terrorist Threat, Hospitals Can Safely Evacuate Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030409075317.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins