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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mass Casualty Management in the Emergency Department - Lessons Learned in Beirut, Lebanon - Part I


Over the last century, mass casualty incidents (MCIs) affected many nations and their emergency departments. The unscheduled arrival of large number of injured victims over a short period of time often causes major chaos and crowding. When a rapid surge in operational needs overwhelms available Emergency Department (ED) resources and personnel, the chaos and overwhelming mismatch between needs and resources can quickly spread to the rest of the hospital.1, 2 Nonetheless, as the front door of the hospital, the ED plays a pivotal role in determining the quality and effectiveness of an institution’s MCI response. This requires effective planning, which translates into preparedness. Unfortunately, many EDs are overburdened even on regular days. Damaged infrastructure further compounds the challenge.

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