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Using Baseline Data to Address the Lack of Hospital Beds during Mass-Casualty Incidents

  • Hysham Hadef, Jean-Claude Bartier, Herve Delplancq and Jean-Pierre Dupeyron

Abstract

The management of victims during mass-casualty incidents (MCIs) is improving. In many countries, physicians and paramedics are well-trained to manage these incidents. A problem that has been encountered during MCIs is the lack of adequate numbers of hospital beds to accommodate the injured. In Europe, hospitals are crowded. One solution for the lack of beds is the creation of baseline data systems that could be consulted by medical personnel in all European countries. A MCI never has occurred in northeastern Europe, but such an event remains a possibility. This paper describes how the use of SAGEC 67, a free-access, information database concerning the availability of beds should help the participating countries, initially France, Germany, and Switzerland, respond to a MCI by dispatching each patient to an appropriate hospital and informing their families and physicians using their own language.

Baseline data for more than 20 countries, and for hospitals, especially those in Germany, Switzerland, and France, were collected. Information about the number of beds and their availability hour-by-hour was included. In the case of MCIs, the baseline data program is opened and automatically connects to all of the countries. In case of a necessary hospital evacuation, the required beds immediately are occupied in one of these three countries.Questions and conversations among medical staff or family members can be accomplished between hospitals through computer, secured-line chatting that automatically translates into appropriate language.

During the patient evacuation phase of a MCI, respondents acknowledged that a combination of local, state, and private resources and international cooperation eventually would be needed to meet the demand. Patient evacuation is optimized through the use of SAGEC 67, a free baseline database.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence: Hospital Universitaire de Strasbourg Department Anaesthesia Prehospital Medical Care Department SAMU 67 1 place de l'hopital 67091 Strasbourg France E-mail: hysham.hadef@chru-strasbourg.fr

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