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A Pilot Study of Surge Capacity in the Metropolitan Area of South Korea

  • Young-hoon Yoon (a1), Jung-Youn Kim (a1), Gwang-ryol Heo (a1), Bo-Sun Sim (a1) and Sung-Woo Moon (a2)...

Abstract

Introduction:

Seoul is the third most densely populated area in the world except for the city-state. However, a national disaster plan has not yet been established.

Aim:

From September 2017, representatives of seven regional emergency medical centers in Seoul met monthly and decided to investigate basic data for the future establishment of surge capacity planning.

Methods:

Staff, supply, space, and systems for surge capacity were surveyed in seven hospitals. The additional surveyed data were as follows: hospital incident command system and actual operational experience; performance of disaster drill; safety and security plan; estimation of surge capacity in normal operating conditions and extreme operating conditions; alternative therapeutic spaces; back-up plan to call non-duty medical staff; decontamination equipment; contingency plan for stuff shortage; etc.

Results:

All the hospitals reported they have hospital incident command systems and held disaster drills every year, however, the two hospitals (28.5%) had no real experience of hospital incident command system activation. Five hospitals (71.4%) did not have a safety and security plan. They replied they can treat average 7.7 emergency patients (Korean Triage and Acute scale (KTAS) ≤ 3), 10 non-emergent patients (KTAS>4), 0.9 surgical patients and 0.7 unstable patients simultaneously in normal operating conditions. In extreme operating conditions, they replied they can treat average 26.4 emergency patients (KTAS ≤ 3), 54.3 non-emergent patients (KTAS>4), 37 surgical patients and 2.3 unstable patients simultaneously. The two hospitals (28.5%) had no alternative therapeutic spaces, no back-up plan to call non-duty medical staff and no contingency plan for stuff shortage. Three hospitals (42.9%) did not have decontamination equipment.

Discussion:

The survey revealed the basic data for surge capacity planning in Seoul. Data from hospitals other than regional emergency medical centers should be collected for the completion of disaster plans.

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