The use of rail transport is increasing in Sweden, as well as within Europe, and train speeds are escalating. These factors contribute to an increasing frequency of train crashes and major crashes so severe that they can be classified as disasters. There is a lack of knowledge concerning factors of importance related to the rescue operation that can influence survival rate at train crashes, especially in cold environments.
The aim was to identify preventable death and severe complications among passengers in a train crash in rural and cold environments using a simulation-based model.
A train crash scenario was developed based on scientific research, crash reports, and lessons observed in incidents. The scenario was set to a train with seven carriages consisting of 150 passengers that derailed in a curve in 160km/h, 10km from the hospital. In Umeå in the north of Sweden, 12 participants from seven emergency/disaster organizations joined in two preparing workshops and a real-time simulation-based train crash. The Emergo Train System (ETS) was chosen as a simulation tool. Data collection such as rescue capacities, response time, and patient surge were collected and transferred into the ETS.
The results show 17 preventable death and 9 preventable severe complications since the actions were not implemented in the recommended time.
The results show that an extended rescue operation can have devastating consequences especially in cold environments. Further experimental simulations are needed with defined interventions to find out how preventable deaths and severe complications can be reduced.
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