Safety

In disasters, prepare for a possible surge of late-arriving victims

Emergency Management Alert, January 27, 2009

Despite the fact there were few injuries, and fortunately no deaths, the Hudson River plane crash on January 15 offered New York City hospitals a chance to take a serious look at their emergency response plans.

Alvaro Alban, MD, an ER physician at Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, NJ, provided an interesting perspective on emergency preparedness, even hours after it seemed everything was under control. Alban expected that more victims would come to the hospital in the hours and days after the crash because they declined treatment after being rescued.

Alban reasoned that victims are sometimes too shocked after a large scale disaster and unable to fully realize the extent of their injuries, according to the Associated Press.

For more emergency preparedness tips regarding the plane crash visit Mac’s Safety Space, a blog of hospital safety professionals on the Hospital Safety Center.

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